The Chinese economy is suffering a little right now, hemorrhaging money left, right and center. It seems that the years of exponential growth are over, and just as China looked set to pass the US as the richest country in the world. However, this is still an economy with a very bright future and it is the successful entrepreneurs and businessmen who are propping up that economy. In this article we’ll look at the richest men in the country, with figures produced prior to the current economic deflation, in 2014.
10. Liu Qiangdong — $7.1 Billion, 40 years old.
With a net worth of just over $7 billion and an age of just 40, Liu Qiangdong is actually the youngest man in the top ten. This highly educated, self-made billionaire lives in the capital and has made most of his money through the JD.com e-commerce website. This is China’s largest direct sales company, with a market share close to 50% and annual revenue of more than $40 billion. This one company alone has been more than enough to ensure Qiangdong lives the high-life for as long as he lives.
9. He Xiangjian — $7.5 Billion, 73 years old.
Married with 3 children, Xiangjian has taken his time to accumulate his wealth. He began his business back in 1968, taking a stand in the growing appliance industry, and today the 73 year old businessman has stepped down from running the business. He is still able to live off the wealth that he generated over the years though, and can probably live several lifetimes before he runs out of money.
8. Lei Jun — $9.1 Billion, 45 years old.
Another self-made billionaire, Jun is often considered to be the Chinese Steve Jobs. This is in part down to his semi-formal appearance during presentations, and also because he has made his money by developing new technologies for the mobile technology market. He is the founder of the Xiaomi smartphone brand, which is currently one of the fastest growing companies of its type in the world.
7. Wang Wenyin — $10 Billion, 47 years old.
Wenyin is the chair of the Amer International Group, who supply cable and copper products all over, selling close to $40 billion worth of products in 2013 alone. They employ thousands of people and operate out of 6 locations in Shenzhen, China, where Wenyin also resides.
6. Zong Qinghiu — $11 Billion, 69 years old.
69 year old Qinghiu made his money in the drinks industry, under the name Hangzhou Wahaha Group. They mainly sell bottled water and tea, and generate billions of dollars from these simple products. He is married and has one child, a daughter who works within his company and is set to take over from her father when he passes.
5. Li Hejun — $13 Billion, 48 years old.
Li is a 48 year old businessman who has made a killing in the renewable energy market. China very much leads the way in this industry and Li Hejun is one of the people who have profited most from the monopoly that the Chinese have on renewable energy. His investments are not just located in China and he has also made significant investments in the United States.
4. Wang Jianlin — $13.2 Billion, 60 years old.
60 year old Jianlin has only a fraction more wealth than Hejun, but these two are world’s apart business wise. Jianlin made his money in real estate, one of the oldest and most common ways to make millions. His company controls hundred of department stores and he has also partnered with leading internet company Baidu to setup an online e-commerce website. He has many investments turning over a profit, proving that money leads to more money, providing you know what you’re doing with it.
3. Ma Huateng — $14.4 Billion, 43 years old.
Huateng is the 3rd richest man in China and the 11th richest technology entrepreneur. He turned Tencent from a small and insignificant company, into the online media powerhouse that it is today. Their chat service alone has brought in close to 600 million users, all of whom generate money for Huateng and his company thanks to the use of some ingenious revenue models. Huateng is proof, if you needed it, that the online app and games market has endless potential for profit.
2. Robin Li — $14.7 Billion, 46 years old.
As the Chinese Google, Baidu is a behemoth in China, an online company that makes more money than any other. Baidu is listed on the the NASDAQ — the second biggest stock exchange in the United States, and one where Apple is also listed — and Li is its CEO. Like Google, Baidu isn’t content with just being a search engine and has acquired a number of other companies over the years in a range of fields, expanding rapidly and growing its wealth and is power almost on a daily basis.
1. Jack Ma — $19.5 Billion, 50 years old.
The 7th richest tech entrepreneur in the world, the richest man in China and the 33rd richest man in the world, Ma used to work as an English teacher, earning a very modest wage in the process. In a move he is very unlikely to regret, Ma changed careers and setup the Alibaba shopping site, which is now used by customers all over the world. Not only has Alibaba exploded Ma’s personal wealth, but it has also greatly helped the wealth of China, because it is used by a number of small to large-sized companies in China who sell their products to buyers all over the world. In fact, if not for Ma and his company, the economic landscape of modern China would look completely different. Alibaba is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and its offshoots include companies like Alipay, which also goes someway to boosting Ma’s total wealth.