Forbes World’s Billionaires List 2021: The Top 10 Asians
Forbes has unveiled the 2021 edition of the World’s Billionaires List. Even after a year of the world living through a global pandemic, it’s clear that the rich just keep getting richer, with Forbes stating, “The number of billionaires on Forbes’ 35th annual list of the world’s wealthiest exploded to an unprecedented 2,755—660 more than a year ago. Of those, a record high 493 were new to the list—roughly one every 17 hours, including 210 from China and Hong Kong.”
The top spot was unsurprisingly taken by Jeff Bezos, with a fortune of US$177 billion, closely followed by Elon Musk, with a net worth of US$151 billion, and Bernard Arnault and family, with US$150 billion.
And though the US has the most billionaires, Forbes notes that “the U.S. still has the most, with 724, followed by China (including Hong Kong and Macao) with 698.”
Taking the number 10 spot is Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, who also has the largest fortune in Asia, with $84.5 billion. Other high profile Asian billionaires on the list include China’s Zhong Shanshan and Ma Huateng, along with Hong Kong’s own Li Ka-Shing, who was ranked as the 43rd richest in the world, and 12th overall in Asia.
Want to know who made the top 10? Here, we’re listing the richest billionaires in all of Asia to know.
1/10 Mukesh Ambani
Net worth: US$84.5 billion
Overall ranking: 10
The chairman, managing director and largest shareholder of energy and telecom giant Reliance Industries—which has interests in petrochemicals, oil and gas, telecom and retail and has seen a surge in value over the last year—Mumbai-based Mukesh Ambani is the richest man in Asia.
Though his wealth fell in 2020 to US$36.8 billion from US$50 billion in 2019, today his fortune stands at a staggering US$84.5 billion. He has moved up the ranks to the 10th spot, after coming in at number 21 in 2020.
"Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital. India cannot afford to be left behind."––Mukesh Ambani
2/10 Zhong Shanshan
Net worth: US$68.9 billion
Overall ranking: 13
"Bottled Water King" Zhong Shanshan chairs Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company, which listed its shares in Hong Kong in September 2020.
Although he was the third richest man in China in 2020, he was only ranked as 1063rd place in the global rankings. His wealth grew rapidly over the last twelve months from US$2 billion to US$68.9 billion with Shanshan taking the number 13 spot globally.
3/10 Ma Huateng
Net worth: US$65.8 billion
Overall ranking: 15
Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma) chairs Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings, which ranks among the nation's largest businesses by market cap. Thanks to this, he is the second richest man in China for the third year running, along with climbing from 20th to 15th place in the global ranks.
4/10 Colin Huang Zheng
Net worth: US$55.3 billion
Overall ranking: 21
Colin Huang is chairman of online discounter Pinduoduo, one of China's largest e-commerce sites. A serial entrepreneur, Huang earlier founded online game company Xinyoudi and online e-commerce platform Ouku.com. His fortune has steadily grown in recent years, climbing the global ranks from number 94 in 2019, to number 57 in 2020, and 21 today.
"I got to learn how to manage and accepted the status of being rich before I got rich."––Colin Huang Zheng
5/10 Gautam Adani and family
Net worth: US$50.5 billion
Overall ranking: 24
Infrastructure tycoon Gautam Adani controls Mundra Port, India's largest, in his home state of Gujarat.
"Being an entrepreneur is my dream job as it tests ones tenacity. I could never take orders from anyone."––Gautam Adani
6/10 Jack Ma
Net worth: US$48.4 billion
Overall ranking: 26
Jack Ma co-founded Alibaba Group, one of the world's largest e-commerce businesses, though he stepped down as executive chairman in 2019 and was succeeded by CEO Yong Zhang.
Previously China's richest man in 2019 and 2020, Ma now ranks as fourth in China, and 26th worldwide.
7/10 Masayoshi Son
Net worth: US$45.4 billion
Overall ranking: 29
Masayoshi Son founded and runs mobile telecom and investment giant SoftBank Group. He is now the richest man in Japan, overtaking Tadashi Yanai this year.
8/10 Tadashi Yanai
Net worth: US$44.1 billion
Overall ranking: 31
Closely following Masayoshi Son, Yanai built and runs Tokyo-listed retail clothing empire Fast Retailing, which is the parent of Uniqlo.
Although he was Japan's richest man in 2019 and 2020, Masayoshi Son has claimed the top spot for 2021, with Yanai ranking as 31st richest in the world.
9/10 Wang Wei
Net worth: US$39 billion
Overall ranking: 35
Wang Wei chairs S. F. Holding––also known as SF Express––the "Fedex of China".
10/10 He Xiangjian
Net worth: US$37.7 billion
Overall ranking: 37
He Xiangjian built Midea Group, one of the world's largest appliance makers. Though he stepped down from its operations in 2012, and was succeeded by his son, He Jianfeng as director of Midea Group and Midea Real Estate Holding, he still sits as the 37th richest in the world, and 6th in China.