Rising new industries such as food delivery, ride hailing and co-working have given birth to a growing number of new billionaires in China, according to the Hurun Rich List, released on Oct 12.
The services sector, including emerging industries and the courier industry, has registered the fastest increase in the past 12 months, the report said. Up to 3.3 percent of the shortlisted billionaires are from the services sector, compared with 2.4 percent a year ago.
The biggest winner in the sector is the courier company SF Express, which made a successful initial public offering in February. As a result, company founder Wang Wei came in at No 6 on the list this year with a net wealth of 155 billion yuan ($23.5 billion).
Companies linked to the shared economy, which are hotly pursued by investors, have enabled their founders to rise quickly on the list, said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.
Cheng Wei, 34, founder of ride hailing company Didi Chuxing, saw his personal wealth surge by 27 percent year-on-year to 16.5 billion yuan.
Dai Wei, 26, founder and CEO of bike sharing service provider Ofo, appears on the list for the first time with personal wealth of 3.5 billion yuan. He is the youngest self-made entrepreneur in the 19-year history of Hurun Rich List.
Li Bin, 43, who invested 1.5 million yuan in Mobike, Ofo’s chief rival, in 2015, saw his wealth rise by 235 percent in the past 12 months to 6.7 billion yuan.
Wang Xing, 38, CEO of food delivery company Meituan Dianping, saw his personal wealth soar by 66 percent to 26.5 billion yuan. Mao Daqing, 48, founder and CEO of co-working space UR Work, also joined the list for the first time at 2 billion yuan.
Hoogewerf predicts those linked to companies specializing in artificial intelligence, driverless cars and biotech will be the next wave of additions.
Lu Yanxia, research manager at consultancy IDC China, predicted that all companies that put people on the list in the future will be closely related to AI, with such specialties as robots, smart hardware and driverless cars.
Still, the richest man in China comes from the property industry. Hui Ka Yan, 59, chairman of Guangzhou Evergrande Group, tops the list this year with his wealth having quadrupled to 290 billion yuan.