PETALING JAYA – Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma has overtaken Wanda Group boss Wang Jianlin as China’s richest man, according to latest estimates.
According to a May 14 report by Forbes, Ma’s fortune was worth US$30.9bil (RM133.75bil) while Wang, whose wealth mainly comes from real estate and the entertainment industry, lags slightly behind at US$30.7bil (RM132.85bil).
Forbes attributed Ma’s rise in fortune to a more than one-third rise in Alibaba’s share price so far this year amid growing profits.
Alibaba’s 2014 IPO in New York also set a record as the world’s biggest public stock offering. It traded below US$70 (RM302.90) last year, but its stocked closed at US$120.34 (RM520.74) in New York on Friday, Forbes said.
Ma and Wang have been neck in neck for the title of China’s wealthiest man for the past few years.
However, Forbes forsees another shakeup as the stock price of Tencent Holdings, which operates the country’s popular WeChat online messaging platform, continues to rise.
According to Forbes, Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng’s fortune was worth US$29.7bil (RM128.53bil) on Friday, just within US$1bil (RM4.32bil) shy of Ma and Wang’s current net worth.
Ma is also Malaysia’s first-ever digital economy adviser, appointed last year.