Wanda's Wang Jianlin takes back the richest crown from Alibaba's Jack Ma

Updated: 2015-10-15 13:56

By Shi Jing(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Wanda's Wang Jianlin takes back the richest crown from Alibaba's Jack Ma

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of Wanda Group, at a press conference in Shanghai, March 21, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Wang Jianlin, 61, chairman of property giant Wanda Group, took back the number one position from Jack Ma of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd after 52 percent rise in fortune to $34.4 billion, according to the Hurun Rich List 2015 released in Shanghai on Thursday.

The rise of Wang can mainly be attributed to a 10-fold increase in his newly listed cinema chain. Five years ago, 90 percent of his wealth came from real estate. But he has now managed to diversify away from real estate, which now only makes up half of his wealth.

On the international front, Wang has moved away from making acquisitions of properties to concentrate on sports marketing, highlighted by a 20 percent stake in Spanish soccer giant Atlético de Madrid, the purchase of the World Triathlon Corporation for $650 million and a billion-dollar acquisition of a Swiss-based sports marketing company.

Wang has also overtaken Li Ka-Shing of Hong Kong to become the richest Chinese in the world.

Last year's richest Chinese man Jack Ma saw his wealth shrunk 3 percent to $22.7 billion, mainly due to a plunge in the value of Alibaba share prices. But Ma's kingdom is now propped up by the continued rise of Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba. Ant Financial is warming up to be one of the most anticipated listings of next year, after another round of investment in July valuing it $45 billion.

Zong Qinghou, 70, along with his family, occupied the third spot with a net worth of $21.1 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year. Celebrated as "beverage king", Zong was number one in 2010 and 2012.

Pony Ma, 44, CEO of Tencent Holding Ltd, climbs to the fourth on the list with his wealth increasing 11 percent to $18.8 billion based on Tencent stock. He is also one of the world's most active venture capitalists. Two recent high-profile co-investments with Jack Ma are taxi booking application DidiKuaidi, run by fellow billionaire Cheng Wei, and the merged entities of Meituan and Dianping. Both DidiKuaidi and the new merged entity have valuations of $15 billion.

"Renewable Energy King" Li Hejun, chairman of Hanergy Holding Group, saw his wealth halve to just under $10 billion and he fell to 12th spot, after Hanergy suspended trading in May. He was on the third place a year ago.

High-profile Liu Qiangdong, founder and chairman of JD.com.cn, saw his fortune decline by 16 percent, resulting in his position on the rich list falling to 28th, on the back of a poor share performance of e-retailer JD.