The number of Chinese billionaires pulling away from the United States is growing every year with as many as 819 billionaires from China, compared with 571 from the U.S., the Hurun Rich List showed yesterday.
A total of 2,694 billionaires from 69 countries and regions are included in the list — up 437 from a year ago. Among them, 567 are new entrants, with 210 from China.
Their total wealth increased 31 percent to .5 trillion, the report said, adding that the wealth was still concentrated in the hands of few people. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires was .5trillion.
"A boom in China, a weak dollar and a 26 percent hike in the Nasdaq have led to a surge in dollar billionaires across the world," said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun's chairman and chief researcher of the report.
Global economic growth recorded the fastest pace since 2011, adding 3 percent last year, and a significant acceleration compared with 2.4 percent the previous year.
China and the U.S. made up over half of the billionaires in the world. Beijing is now the undisputed billionaire capital of the world, adding 37 to 131 billionaires.
Two years ago, China and the U.S. were neck-and-neck with 534 and 535 billionaires, respectively, with China going through an amazing period of entrepreneurship.
There are 85 billionaires aged 40 or under, seven people more than last year, among them 47 are self-made while 38 inherited their wealth.
China also leads the world in terms of self-made billionaires and is home to 80 percent of the world's self-made female billionaires.
Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng is the highest ranking Chinese billionaire, rising eight positions to 15th on this year's list. His wealth more than doubled after Tencent's share prices soared last year.
Billionaires' wealth from TMT (technology, media and telecom), real estate, manufacturing and investment account for 44 percent of the cumulative wealth. Real estate has generated the most number of billionaires (164), followed by manufacturing (159) and TMT (105).