Jack Ma Now China’s Richest Person

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma overtakes Wanda’s Wang Jianlin as wealthiest man in China.

  • Ma’s worth $30.9b vs Wang’s $30.7b
  • Worth $29.7b, Tencent’s Ma Huateng catching up fast
(L-R) Wang Jianlin, Jack Ma, Pony Ma

According to estimates by Forbes, Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, is now the richest person in China, narrowly nudging Dalian Wanda Group’s Wang Jianlin to the second spot.

As of 12 May, Jack Ma’s worth was $30.9b compared with Wang’s $30.7b, with Ma’s fortune gaining from an over one-third increase in Alibaba’s share price this year.

Ma owns 7.8 per cent of Alibaba, but he also has close to 50 per cent stake in Alipay, which comes under Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. The third-party mobile payment system has been pushing hard for global growth, with the intent to capture an increasing market of Chinese travellers shopping overseas. In just the past few months, Alipay has expanded to Italy and extended its presence further into the US.

Wang’s wealth mainly comes from real estate and the entertainment industry.

These past few years, the top spots of China’s wealth rankings have been hogged by either Ma or Wang.

The list of wealth rankings could potentially see another shake-up, after a run-up in the stock price of Tencent Holdings, owner of WeChat messaging platform. Ranking third, Tencent’s CEO Pony Ma was worth $29.7b as of May 12.