Robin Li Yanhong is now the wealthiest man on the Chinese mainland, surpassing the second richest man by about $64 million, the Bloomberg Billionaire Index showed Wednesday.
Li is the founder of Baidu Inc, China's largest search engine by market share. Due to a price increase of the company's stock, Li's net worth increased by $4.8 billion this year to reach $12.23 billion. The growth rate is as high as 65 percent.
Li had only just surpassed Zong Qinghou, chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha Group, to rank as the second richest man on the mainland 14 days ago.
The second wealthiest man now is Wang Jianlin, chairman of real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group, whose fortune increased by $2.9 billion this year, reaching $12.17 billion, according to data from the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Zhang Xi, an analyst with Beijing-based iResearch Consulting Group, said that Baidu's recent moves in smartphones and tablet computers, and its obvious advantage in the desktop search market have contributed to an increase in its stock price, news portal 163.com reported Wednesday.
"Baidu's development in mobile Internet also exceeded expectation, and the use of its mobile search application is growing fast," said Zhang.
However, media reports have said that Wang may top Li as the richest man again after AMC Entertainment Inc, a US movie chain that he purchased in 2012 with $2.6 billion, gets listed on the capital market.
AMC Entertainment plans to raise as much as $368 million in an IPO that would value the company at up to $1.9 billion, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Zong Qinghou ranked third, with a net worth of $12 billion. In fourth was Ma Huateng, chairman of Tencent Holdings, with a net worth of $11.5 billion, according to the index. Wei Jianjun, chairman of Great Wall Motor, ranked fifth with $7.9 billion.
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