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According to an annual ranking revealed Wednesday 27th Oct 2021, entrepreneur Zhong Shanshan has become China’s wealthiest person, as a government push to rein in the super-rich has taken a significant bite out of the fortunes of perennial front-runners like Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.
Following the public listings of his Nongfu Spring mineral water and a second pharma company, Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, which has tapped into tremendous demand for Covid-19 test kits, Zhong, who is in his late 60s, has seen his riches soar.
According to the Hurun Rich List, Shanshan is worth $60.5 billion, up 7%. Zhong, who was ranked third last year, rose to the top after the Communist Party government’s drive to disperse wealth in the name of equality slashed the fortunes of other tycoons by billions.
Jack Ma, who was the richest person in the world last year 2020, fell to fifth place as his fortune shrank by 36% to $39.6 billion.
As a result, Chinese officials halted Alibaba’s financial group Ant’s planned $37 billion initial public offering, setting off a wave of crackdowns on Chinese internet giants, alleged monopolistic practices, and powerful tycoons.
However, the total number of people in China worth at least two billion yuan ($310 million) increased by 520 to 2,918, according to Hurun list.