China has 189 billionaires

Beijing, Oct 12 (IANS) China’s billionaires rose by 69 to 189 this year, according to the Hurun Rich List 2010 Tuesday.

The growth of domestic market has been a major factor for the rising number of billionaires, China Daily reported, quoting the rich list report.

‘We can see from the first 10 richest Chinese that their major fortunes were not made from exports, but from the growth of China’s domestic market,’ said Rupert Hoogewerf at a press meet to launch the 12th annual rich list of China.

Topping the list was Zong Qinghou, the founder of food and beverage giant Hangzhou Wahaha Group. With a personal fortune of $12 billion. Zong is the richest man in China.

Li Li, a pharmaceutical tycoon who founded Hepalink, came second and Zhang Yin, who owns the Nine Dragon Paper, was third.

The fortunes of China’s riches continued to grow rapidly even though the Shanghai Stock Exchange index fell 10 percent last year.

The average wealth of the first 1,000 people on the list was up 26 percent from last year, and the average wealth of the first 10 was up 32 percent, the report said.

The list also revealed the growing political influence of China’s wealthy. Twelve percent of the names – 173 individuals – on the rich list have been appointed to important government advisory posts.

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