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Hurun: China has more billionaires than the U.S.

China's annual rich list has indicated that, once again, the country has more dollar billionaires than the US, and the gap is widening.


Property magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda tops the list of 594 billionaires in the country, ahead of 535 billionaires in the US.


Alibaba's Jack Ma was second, with his wealth having risen 41% from last year.


The annual list is compiled by Shanghai publishers Hurun and often compared to the Forbes list in the US.


At the top of the China rich list is Wang Jianlin, who sits on a personal fortune of $32.1bn (£26.4bn). His company Dalian Wanda has made headlines throughout the year with a number of high profile forays into the US movie markets.


Alibaba's Jack Ma is a close second with $30.6bn, and Pony Ma of internet and online gaming giant Tencent comes third with $24.6bn.


The biggest increase came from Yao Zhenhua of investment and real estate firm Baoneng Group, whose wealth jumped by 820% to $17.2bn, putting him in fourth position.


Hurun chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said Mr Yao's rise illustrated a shift in China's maturing economy.


"Yao's financial investment model represents the new wave of wealth creation in China," he explained. "The first money made in China 20 years ago came from trading, followed by manufacturing, real estate, IT, and today it is about using the capital markets for financial investments."


Robin Li and Melissa Ma of search engine Baidu have a fortune of $14.7bn, ranked eighth while founder of smartphone makers Xiaomi, Lei Jun, dropped out of the top 10 to number 14 as competition in China's smartphone market intensified.


Most of China's billionaires live in Beijing, followed by Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hangzhou.


Globally, the Forbes rich list is topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $75bn, followed by Amancio Ortega of Zara and legendary investor Warren Buffett.


Source: BBC


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