The average wealth of the Chinese mainland’s top 1,000 richest people jumped 26 percent to US$722 million this year from a year earlier despite the sluggish stock market and the tightening measures meant to cool the sizzling economy, according to the latest Hurun Rich List. In comparison, the average of the 1,000 wealthiest people in the United Kingdom is US$536 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2010.
Beijing has overtaken Shanghai as the home of the largest number of wealthiest individuals. Beijing claims 124 of the tycoons; Shanghai, 109. A total of 1,363 individuals have fortunes of more than 1 billion yuan (US$150 million), up from 1,000 last year. Ten years ago, there were only 24. Wahaha‘s Zong Qinghou, 65, touted as “Drinks King,” is the richest man with a personal fortune of US$12 billion. Last year’s number one, Wang Chuanfu, 44, has slipped to 12th place with US$4.6 billion after seeing his wealth drop 10 percent.