1 Jack Ma- $35B
A former English teacher, Jack Ma cofounded and chairs Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce businesses.In September 2018, Ma announced he would resign as Alibaba’s executive chairman in one year and would be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang.Its 2014 IPO in New York set a record as the world’s biggest public stock offering, raising $25 billion.Ma’s investments beyond Alibaba include stakes in Chinese entertainment industry firms Huayi Brothers and Beijing Enlight Media.
2 Ma Huateng- $32.8B
Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma) chairs Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings, which ranks among the nation’s largest businesses by market cap.Tencent’s popular social messaging app WeChat has more than 1 billion users.In contrast to his outgoing rival at Alibaba, Ma has a low-profile style that befits his engineering background.Tencent acquired a 12% stake in Snapchat-parent Snap, according to a November 2017 filing; it also made a pre-IPO investment in Snap.Ma cofounded Tencent in 1998.
3 Hui Ka Yan- $30.8B
Hui Ka Yan is chairman of Hong Kong-listed Evergrande Group, one of China’s biggest real estate developers.Evergrande, which Hui took public in 2009, has over 800 projects in more than 280 cities.Hui worked as a technician in a steel factory for 10 years after graduating college in 1982.Hui started Evergrande in Guangzhou in 1996, and began picking up low price properties in small markets. Its first project was Jinbi Garden.Hui’s son Xu Zhijian, who holds an MBA from prestigious Tsinghua University, is a vice president at Evergrande.
4 Wang Jianlin- $22.7B
Wang Jianlin chairs Dalian Wanda Group, one of the world’s biggest commercial real estate developers with more than 200 plazas in China.His group also owns U.S. movie theater chain AMC and film studio Legendary Entertainment.Wang retreated in 2017, selling his Chinese hotel and tourism portfolio — including theme parks and a movie studio complex — for over $9 billion.By early 2018, Wanda was also selling its real estate assets in London and Australia, and a stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico de Madrid.
5 He Xiangjian- $19.5B
Entrepreneur He Xiangjian built Midea Group into one of the world’s largest appliance makers.He stepped down from its operations in 2012.In 1968 he led a group of 23 local residents of the town of Beijiao in Guangdong Province to form a lid production workshop that became Midea.Midea has more than 200 subsidiaries, including Germany-based robotics firm Kuka.His son He Jianfeng is a director of Midea Group and of Midea Real Estate Holding.
6 Yang Huiyan- $17.1B
Yang Huiyan owns 57% of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings, a stake largely transferred to her by her father Yeung Kwok Keung in 2007.Yang’s younger sister Ziyang also sits on Country Garden’s board.Yang chairs Bright Scholar Education Holdings, a Chinese education company that went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007.Yang’s aunt, Yang Meirong, holds a stake in Bright Scholar and was a member of the 2017 Forbes China Rich List.Yang holds a degree from Ohio State University.
7 Wang Wei- $14.9B
Wang Wei chairs S. F. Holding, a package delivery service known as the “Fedex of China”; it’s also called SF Express.In March 2018, the company obtained China’s first license for drone deliveries.S.F. was founded in the city of Shunde in Guangdong Province in 1993; Wang owns just over 60% of the shares.Wang took the package delivery firm public through a reverse merger on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in early 2017.
8 Robin Li- $14.6B
Li is CEO of Baidu, China’s top search engine and one of the world’s most popular websites.Baidu is known in China as part of BAT — Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent — the trio of companies that rank as the country’s three largest.Li in 2016 was criticized for trying to buy Baidu’s iQiyi video channel at a bargain price; he failed and iQiyi went public in 2018.
9 Li Shufu- $14.2B
Li Shufu chairs Geely Automobile Holdings, one of China’s 10 largest automakers and one of few non-government controlled ones.
Geely’s business and share price have been flying high in the past year on successful SUV sales.His private holding company acquired Volvo in August 2010.Li holds an engineering degree from Yan Shan University and is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.Li told Forbes Asia in 2014 he made his first cars from the sand as a boy. “We couldn’t afford any toys. I couldn’t imagine making a real car.”
10 William Ding- $13.5B
William Ding is the CEO of Netease, one of the world’s largest online and mobile games businesses.Netease’s business partners include Mojang, a subsidiary of Microsoft, and Blizzard.Netease, facing tough competition in games from China rival Tencent, expanded into movies, online music and e-commerce.Ding was China’s richest man and its first Internet and gaming billionaire back in 2003.Ding holds a B.S. degree in communication technology from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.