Alibaba's Jack Ma crowned China's richest man

The Alibaba founder knocks Wang Jianlin off top spot as China's richest person

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The Independent Online

Alibaba's founder Jack Ma has been crowned China's richest man with an estimated fortune of $25 billion according to a new report published just days after the e-commerce giant made its stock market debut.

The biggest float in history has landed Ma on the top spot of Hurun's closely-watched list of China's richest people, knocking Wang Jianlin, head of Wanda property group, into second place with $24.2 billion.

Alibaba raised a total of $25 billion after underwrites sold an extra 48 million shares, pushing it above the previous record set by Agricultural Bank of China of $22.1 billion in 2010. Ma founded Alibaba in his apartment 15 years and owns a 7.8 per cent in the company.

But China's richest man has said his fortune won't change him or his humble ways, citing Forrest Gump as his personal hero in a recent interview. Ma claimed the Oscar-winning film taught him "you are you" and he's still the same man who "made $20 a month" not so long ago.

 

Tech billionaires accounted for half of the top 10 names- including Tencent founder Pony Ma in fifth place with a $18.1 billion fortune and Baidu chief executive Robin Li in sixth position with $17.5 billion.

Lei Jun, the co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, made his debut on the top 10 followed by e-commerce entrepreneur Liu Qiangdong in ninth and tenth position respectively.

Overall, the total wealth of the 1,271 people featured on the list adds up to $1.4 trillion in what Hurun described as an "amazing" year for China's tech sector despite fears of an economic slowdown in the world's second largest economy. 

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