BEIJING, Feb. 25 -- Wealthy Chinese feature prominently in the new Hurun Global Rich List, with notable headlines from the annual report including Jack Ma of Alibaba Group and Lei Jun of Xiaomi. This contributed to the fact that technology overtook real estate to be key source of wealth.
Released on Tuesday, the list ranking U.S. dollar billionaires on a snapshot of wealth calculations on Jan. 17 is headed by Bill Gates, who takes back top spot from Mexican Carlos Slim for the first time in three years. Gates's fortune increased by 14 billion U.S. dollars to a total net worth of 68 billion.
Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara, occupied the second and third places for the second year running, with 64 and 62 billion U.S. dollars respectively.
Jack Ma, 50, ranking 192th with 7.1 billion U.S. dollars, is preparing to take Alibaba public in what is expected to be one of the largest IPOs of the Chinese private sector, the report noted.
Pony Ma of Tencent ranked 70th with 14 billion U.S. dollars. The two Mas have been racing against each other in instant communication tools, cab-hailing applications and many other fields since 2013.
Lei Jun, 45, founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, made the list for the first time with 28 billion yuan (4.6 billion U.S. dollars). He was the "fastest riser" this year.
Li Ka-shing continues to be the richest man in Asia with 33 billion U.S. dollars. He sold off many of his properties in the Chinese mainland last year, sparking concern among investors about China's property market.
A record-breaking total of 1,867 billionaires are included on the list this year, among which 824 individuals, or 51 percent, reside in Asia. North America and Europe account for the second and third-biggest portions.
The report also mentions Chinese stock exchanges attracted more billionaires than the United States for the second year running.
The average age of the listed billionaires is 64. One in nine is female, and over half of the list's self-made female billionaires are Chinese.
The Hurun Global Rich List is compiled by Hurun Report Inc., a Shanghai-based company which has grown into a leading luxury publishing group after being established as a research unit in 1999 by British accountant Rupert Hoogewerf.
Its interests include four luxury magazines, the Hurun Research Institute and a business events division targeting China's entrepreneurs and individuals of high net worth.