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Real estate, IT tycoons top Hurun China’s wealthiest list

2013-09-12 10:50 Global Times Web Editor: qindexing

The real estate industry is the main source of China's wealthiest individuals, but the fastest riser is IT with the number of people from this sector having increased more than 20 percent from 2012, according to the Hurun Rich List 2013 released Wednesday.

The list is an annual ranking of China's 1,000 richest individuals, compiled by Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute.

The threshold of the 2013 list is 2 billion yuan ($327 million). compared to 2012's 1.8 billion yuan and 40 times higher the amount set for the first list in 1999, according to a reading report on the Hurun Rich List 2013 released by the institute Wednesday.

This year's list set new records due to "strong performances in real estate and IT," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the institute, at a press conference held in Beijing Wednesday.

With the housing market having rebounded in 2013, almost one in four individuals on the list made their money from real estate, leading this sector to retake first place from manufacturing in providing the largest number of rich people on the list, he said.

The amounts increased 10 percent year-on-year and the total wealth of China's 50 richest real estate tycoons rose 23 percent year-on-year, according to the data in the list.

Real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin, chairman of private property developer Dalian Wanda Group Corp, is the richest man in China with a personal fortune of 135 billion yuan, up 108 percent year-on-year.

Hoogewerf said that 80 percent of Wang's wealth is from his commercial property operation and the remaining 20 percent comes from his department stores, entertainment and art investment.

"Though the central government has unveiled housing control measures, such as purchasing limits, they are not fully and well applied to every corner of China. Neither nationwide transaction volume nor housing prices have been hit hard by government control," Zhang Dawei, research director at the Beijing office of Centaline China Real Estate, told the Global Times Wednesday.

The IT sector's performance was also remarkable.

The total wealth of the 50 richest IT entrepreneurs has increased more than 40 percent year-on-year for two consecutive years.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Beijing-based Xiaomi Technology Co, saw his wealth grow by 567 percent to 16 billion yuan from 2012, the biggest growth among everyone on the list.

As more IT firms begin to expand their business into the production and sales of computers, smart TVs and mobile phones, they could gain a greater fortune from the market, Ding Jiaqi, an industry analyst with iResearch told the Global Times Wednesday.

Hoogewerf also mentioned two interesting changes in the top 10.

Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motor Co, leaped to fourth on this year's list from 35th last year with his wealth having grown 200 percent.

Since the vehicle maker went public on the A-share market two years ago, Wei's wealth has increased eight-fold, said the report.

Jiang Bin made the top 10 list at 10th place from 29th last year, mainly because "the value of his 53 percent stake in microphone maker GoerTek, a supplier of Apple Inc, almost doubled to 37.5 billion yuan," he said at the conference.

However, the clothing industry did not have a good year.

The number of individuals from the clothing industry on the list decreased 5 percent from last year and the wealth of the top 30 richest apparel magnates dropped 16 percent year-on-year.

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