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Meet the top 11 wealthiest people in China

Despite a slowing economy, China's richest business figures have retained their immense wealth after years of explosive growth.

Qinghou richest 2012 09 25Enlarge
Zong Qinghou is now officially China's richest man after his unprecedented success as the chairman of Wahaha Group, the nation's leading drink producer. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

It was a rough year for China's richest individuals, who collectively saw their wealth shrink in a year when the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 23 percent.

According to the brand new 2012 HuRun Rich List, 469 of China's 1,000 wealthiest people saw their wealth decrease, while just 291 saw their wealth increase. And there were just 251 billionaires (in US dollars) on this year's list, 20 fewer than there were last year.

The average wealth of the 1,000 wealthiest people in China was $860 million, down 9 percent from the previous year. But to put that in perspective, the average wealth was still nearly double what it was in 2008.

For the first time in 13 years, manufacturing topped property as the key source of wealth.

And one other notable observation from HuRunpeople born in the Year of the Rabbit make the best entrepreneurs. A full 12.8 percent of people on this year's Rich List were born in the Year of the Rabbit, outnumbering people born in the Years of the Pig and Ox combined.

 

#11 Yang Huiyan is worth $5.2 billion

Change from 2011: -$.4 billion

How she made her fortune: Yang, one of the richest woman in China, is the majority shareholder in Country Garden Holdings, a property development firm based in Guangdong province. The value of the company dropped slightly in the past year, decreasing Yang's wealth.

She graduated Ohio State University in 2003.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#10 Chen Lihua is worth $5.4 billion

Change from 2011: n/a

How she made her fortune: The 71-year-old, a self-made millionaire, founded Fu Wah International group, a firm that owns commercial property in Beijing.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#9 Xu Jiayin is worth $5.5 billion

Change from 2011: -$1.7 billion

How he made his fortune: Jiayin, of Evergrande Property, fell four places on HuRun's rich list this year after a drop in his company's share price.

The company is one of the 10 largest developers in mainland China.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#8 Wu Yajun is worth $6 billion

Change from 2011: -$.6 billion

How she made her fortune: Wu is the CEO of real estate development firm Longfor Properties, which went public in 2009.

She is also the richest self-made woman in the world.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#7 "Pony" Ma Huateng is worth $6.5 billion

Change from 2011: n/a

How he made his fortune: Ma's IT company, Tencent Holdings, is the largest company by market share of anyone on this year’s HuRun Rich list, with a market cap of $65 billion.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#6 Liu Yongxing is worth $7.1 billion

Change from 2011: +$.7 billion

How he made his fortune: Liu, who is self-made, turned a small animal feed business into one of the country's biggest animal feed producers, East Hope.

He also owns aluminum plants.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#5 Liang Wen’gen is worth $7.3 billion

Change from 2011: -$3.7 billion

How he made his fortune: Liang owns 58 percent of the Sany Group, a manufacturer of construction machinery. In the past year, he purchased a German machinery builder for $400 million, though the share price of Sany dropped, causing a dip in his fortune.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#4 Yan Bin is worth $7.9 billion

Change from 2011: +$.1 billion

How he made his fortune: Yan's company, Ruoy Chai, owns rights to Red Bull energy drink in China.

This year he invested in a $200 million property in London, which he is planning to turn into a hub for Chinese businessmen in Europe.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#3 Li Yanhong (Robin Li) is worth $8 billion

Change from 2011: -$.8 billion

How he made his fortune: Li co-founded Chinese search engine Baidu in 2000 and has been CEO of the company since 2004. The company currently has a market cap around $50 billion.

He studied at Peking University and SUNY Buffalo.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#2 Wang Jianlin is worth $10.3 billion

Change from 2011: +$3.2 billion

How he made his fortune: Wang is the chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, one of Asia's largest property developers.

His wealth jumped 44 percent this year after he acquired US-based movie theater operator AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion.

Source: HuRun Report

 

#1 Zong Qinghou is worth $12.6 billion

Change from 2011: +$1.9 billion

How he made his fortune: Zong, dubbed the "drinks king," founded and runs China's largest beverage producer, Wahaha. He personally holds 80 percent of the company.

Source: HuRun Report

 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120925/top-11-wealthiest-economy-slowdown-finance