The rise of the wealth of entrepreneurs from the technology and internet industries - led by China's richest man Alibaba's founder Jack Ma Yun - in the Hurun China Rich List of 2018 reflects a broad picture of China's economy, experts said.
The list shows how the traditional engines of property and manufacturing are losing ground as innovation empowers a dynamic economy, experts noted.
Ma has overtaken Xu Jiayin, chairman of property developer Evergrande Group, as China's richest man with wealth of 270 billion yuan ($39 billion), up from 200 billion yuan last year.
Xu ranked No.2 with a 14 percent decline to 250 billion yuan as China's property market ebbed. He was followed by the founder of Tencent, Pony Ma Huateng, with wealth of 240 billion yuan.
There were 219 new faces on the list, led by Colin Huang Zheng from e-commerce start-up Pinduoduo, ranking No.13. Other new faces include Zeng Yuqun of new-energy vehicle (NEV) battery-maker CATL and Zhan Ketuan of Bitmain, ranking No.53 and No.95, respectively.
The entrepreneurs who had a fast expansion in wealth include Xiaomi's founder Lei Jun, up by 62 percent to 110 billion yuan and Wang Xing of Meituan Dianping, up by 47 percent to 39 billion yuan.
"Last year, the NEV sector led by CATL, artificial intelligence sector led by Sensetime, robotics led by DJ Innovations, and internet services led by Meituan, edged up, while traditional manufacturing and resources industries edged down," the report said. Real estate, which was the top wealth creator for the first 15 years of the list, fell to second place.
Tian Yun, vice president of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, said that the change in wealth shows the successful shift of China's economic growth engines from property and traditional manufacturing to innovation-driven industries such as new energy and new technologies.
"China's economy now is very dynamic, even compared with Japan and South Korea. If we look back a decade, the big names from our Asian neighbors remain unchanged yet new faces have been emerging at home… the trend has worried the US and that's why the country is now trying to kick off a trade war with China to stop it," he told the Global Times Wednesday. "Fast-rising new industries bode well for China's economic prospects."