Forbes' Shanghai Bureau Chief Russell Flannery said on
Tuesday that Forbes Asia is likely to list a new No.1
richest Chinese in the mainland this year.
Huang Guangyu, president of Gome Appliances with a net worth of
US$2.1 billion, according to Forbes Asia, and Shi
Zhengrong, CEO of Suntech Power Co with a net worth of US$2.2
billion, are the contenders likely to nudge Larry Rong Zhijian from
the top spot.
Rong, head of CITIC Pacific Group, led the Forbes' 400
Richest Chinese List two years in a row. His net worth in 2005 was
estimated at US$1.6 billion. Huang Guangyu ranked No.4 in 2005 with
US$1.3 billion, and Shi Zhengrong was No.98 with US$200
Forbes Asia will officially publish this year's list of
400 Richest Chinese on November 2.
Flannery said that the rich have become richer in the past year
thanks to China's rapid economic growth rate, rising stock prices
and sustained investment and consumption.
By the same token, the divide between the rich and the poor
continues to widen dramatically.
The country's Gini coefficient, an international measurement of
income disparity, is estimated to have exceeded the danger level of
0.4. The country's richest 10 percentile possess more than 40
percent of total household wealth, while the poorest 10 percent
have only two percent.
What is interesting, however, is that according to an annual
survey compiled and released today by Rupert Hoogewerf, a former
Forbes rich-list compiler, Cheung Yan, the 49 year-old
founder and chairwoman of top Chinese paper packager Nine Dragons
Paper (Holdings) Ltd. is the richest person in China with US$3.4
Hoogewerf worked with Forbes from 1999 to 2002. He
established Hurun Report in 2003.
Neither Forbes nor Hurun would comment on the
other's list or their standards of measure.
(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2006)