- The Ambani family is not the wealthiest family in Asia anymore.
- China’s Zhong Shanshan is now thrice as wealthy as the Kwoks of Hong Kong and has triple the fortune of South Korea’s Lee dynasty.
- Most of the names leading the top positions are self-made billionaires.
- Half of the billionaires are from China.
1. Zong Shanshan
Food and beverage.
Zhong Shanshan is the originator and chairman Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company that went public in Hong Kong on September 8. As of September 24, the company’s stocks are up 77%, making Shanshan, who owns about 84% of Nongfu Spring, the richest person in China and 17th-richest in the world. On top of that, Shanshan has a controlling stake in Wantai Biological Pharmacy, a firm that said it’s working on a coronavirus cure, per CNBC. Zong is also the sixth richest person in the world.
2. Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani, the richest person in India and eighth-richest on the planet, took over as chairman of Reliance Industries when his father, the company’s founder, died in 2002. Reliance Industries is an oil and gas company that Ambani owns 42% of, per his Bloomberg Billionaires profile.
Ambani also initiated Jio, a 4G phone service. He owns the Mumbai Indians, a professional cricket team, and a house worth more than $400 million.
3. Jack Ma.
Jack Ma, the richest person in China, co-founded Alibaba Group, the country’s largest e-commerce company. Alibaba runs Taobao, an online shopping site, along with Tmall, an online store facilitator. Ma served as the company’s executive chairman until he stepped down in 2019.
Ma also owns stakes in two Chinese entertainment industry firms and an online payment service.
A former English teacher, Ma has recently been in the news because of his widespread donations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, per BBC.
Pony Ma, also known as Ma Huateng, serves as chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings, the tech company he co-founded alongside Zhang Zhidong, number 12 on this list. Tencent is best known for its instant messaging app WeChat, which has more than a billion users.
CK Hutchison Holdings.
Li Ka-Shing, the wealthiest person in Hong Kong, founded CK Hutchison Holdings, a vast business empire with interests in primarily retail services. In addition, Li founded another investment holding company, CK Asset Holdings, geared towards real estate services.
Li ran both companies until May 2018, when his son, Victor, took over as chairman, per his Bloomberg Billionaires profile. CK Hutchinson made $38 billion in 2019.
Tadashi Yanai, the richest person in Japan, runs Uniqlo’s parent company, Fast Retailing. Yanai is also the founder and biggest shareholder of the clothing retailer, which happens to be Asia’s largest, according to Yanai’s Bloomberg Billionaires profile. Fast Retailing operates owns about 1,000 stores.
Yanai has a couple of golf courses in Maui, Hawaii.
7. William Ding.
William Ding runs the Beijing-based internet provider NetEase credited with localizing popular games like “Overwatch” and “Westward Journey,” according to his Bloomberg Billionaires profile. The company works with Blizzard Entertainment and Microsoft subsidiary Mojang. Aside from gaming, NetEase works with other online media entertainment like movies and music.
8. He Xiangjian.
He Xiangjian founded Midea Group, a company that exports air conditioners and produces other appliances like heaters and washing machines. He started the business in 1968 producing plastic lids and built it into one of the largest appliance companies in the world, per his Forbes profile. He stepped down from Midea’s operations in 2012, and his son He Jianfeng serves as one of Midea’s directors.