New report shows China tops list with 1,058 billionaires . . .
Shanghai-based leading luxury publisher Hurun released its Hurun Global Rich List 2021 today. Despite pandemic-induced disruptions to the global economy and financial markets, the world saw the addition of 412 U.S.-dollar-denominated billionaires over the past year. Two-thirds of 2020’s newcomers in the billionaires’ club (259) were from China, boosting its total number to 1,058 – outnumbering the U.S. (696) and making China the first country in the world to break the 1,000 mark. Significant shifts also occurred in individual rankings, with Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk topping the world’s rich list with US$197 billion in net worth. Zhong Shanshan, the chair of bottled water company Nongfu Spring, secured China’s and Asia’s number one slot.
Stock market boom, fast-growing industries generate new tides . . .
Chair and chief researcher of the Hurun report, Rupert Hoogewerf, cites the global equity market boom “driven partly by quantitative easing” and a “flurry of new listings” as one of the main factors fuelling the shifting dynamics. This is evident in Tesla’s skyrocketing stock price, which grew by 622 per cent, as well as Nongfu Spring’s well-received initial public offering in Hong Kong last September. The report also highlighted the rise of electronic vehicles, e-commerce, blockchain, and biotech as contributors to “a new industrial revolution” taking hold.
Asia gets richer versus the rich get richer . . .
In recent years, wealth creation is increasingly moving to the Asia Pacific, most notably China and India. Today’s report highlights that Asia now accounts for 51 per cent of the world’s billionaires, compared to 24 per cent in North America. The rich-poor divide, on the other hand, is becoming starker than ever. The Hurun report notes that the “concentration of wealth and economic power” is reaching an unprecedented level, with the world’s billionaires now possessing collectively more wealth than China’s GDP. As the global health crisis continues to impact the poor disproportionally, eyes are on the highest net worth individuals to wield their increasing influence to help bring about positive change.
- Business Standard: Hurun Global Rich List 2021: World adds eight billionaires a week in 2020
- Hurun Report: Hurun Global Rich List 2021
- South China Morning Post: China overtakes US to host most dollar billionaires