China has the largest population of billionaires, states Hurun Rich List, 2023
Despite losing 164 billionaires, China still has the world's largest population of billionaires with 969, according to the latest Hurun Global Rich List 2023.
The new ranking listed 3,112 billionaires in the world, with the US coming in second with 691 billionaires, down 25, according to stock market capitalization based on January this year.
It's the second time seeing a decrease of billionaires in the past decade, with their total wealth dropping by 10 percent compared with last year, due to poor stock market performance.
China overtook the US in terms of number of billionaires in 2016, and has since kept the position. Currently there are 40 percent more billionaires in China than in the US, and the two countries combined have over half of the billionaires in the world.
China's billionaires' total wealth was down 15 percent, while food was one of the only industries that billionaires saw their wealth grow.
A total of 228 saw their wealth grow, down from 619 last year, of which 69 were new faces.
"Interest rate hikes, the appreciation of the US dollar, the popping of a COVID-driven tech bubble, and the continued impact of the Russia-Ukraine war have all combined to hurt stock markets," commented Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf.
Mixue Bingcheng, the vendor for a variety of tea drinks and ice creams, made their founders Zhang Hongchao and Zhang Hongfu the fastest growers on the rich list.
"Bottled Water King" Zhong Shanshan, 69, retained his position as China's richest person with US$69 billion, down 4 percent.
Pony Ma of Tencent was up two spots to the second in the ranking, despite losing US$13 billion.
Globally, "Luxury King" Bernard Arnault of luxury conglomerate LVMH became the richest person in the world with US$202billion after adding US$49 billion of wealth.
It has been a good year for billionaires in fertilizer, oil and gas, and iron, as well as those able to capitalize on the surge in demand for soft drinks, confectionery, casinos, hotels, sports clubs and luxury, the study shows.