Evergrande tycoon crowned China’s richest as Wanda’s Jianlin slips down the rankings

2130 people in China have more than US$300m to their name, according to Hurun’s 2017 Rich List

Dalian Wanda boss Wang Jianlin has slipped to fifth place in Hurun’s annual rankings of China’s richest folk, having been replaced in the number one spot by another property tycoon, Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin.

US$43bn

How much Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin is now worth, a four-fold increase on last year

Jiayin, 59, has seen his wealth near-on quadruple over the last 12 months to hit US$43bn, while 63-year-old Jianlin’s has apparently tumbled by 28% to US$23bn, leaving him in fifth position (the first time he’s been out of the top three since 2013).

Meanwhile, 36-year-old Yang Huiyan, whose father Yang Guoqiang set up mega-developer Country Garden, leapfrogged Jianlin to take fourth spot after seeing her wealth triple to US$24bn. A raft of Wanda’s hotel and theme park assets were sold off to Sunac and R&F over the period, leaving the vast portfolio of cinema chains to bring in most of the cash; the firm made headlines in the UK this summer of course after walking away from its £470m purchase of Nine Elms Square.

There was a changing of the guard amongst the IT crowd too, with Tencent’s Pony Ma surpassing Alibaba’s Jack Ma to take second place in the overall list after an extraordinary year of deals, most notably the snapping up of a 5% stake in Tesla for US$1.8bn.

Wang Jianlin ranked 6th on the Hurun Philanthropy List 2017 with a donation of US$100m

According to the report, 213o individuals in China count over US$300m in assets, 1184 of whom saw their wealth increase over the last year. Average wealth across the list rose 12.5% to US$1.2 billion, with the Top 100 proving that money makes money by shooting up 60% yoy. The rankings include 647 dollar billionaires, up 53 on 2016 and 396 on 2013.

Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher, said: “The Hurun Rich List has grown faster than any year since 2007, with the possible exception of 2015.”

He added: “China’s entrepreneurs have come a long way. Back in 1999, when I put out the first list, I managed to rank 50 people. Today we have almost that number just from Alibaba!”

Wang Jianlin via World Economic Forum (CC-BY-SA-2.0)