Jack Ma, the founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, topped Forbes' China Rich List for the first time.
Ma's net worth soared to $19.5 billion in 2014, up from $7.1 billion last year, when he was ranked eighth, after his company, described as mixture of Amazon, eBay and Paypal , raised almost $22 billion in the largest U.S. initial public offering in history in September.
Overall, the number of Chinese billionaires jumped 44 percent on year to 242 in 2014, the Forbes rankings showed. And this year, China's richest had to make $700 million rather than $600 million to make the top ten.
"The fortunes of Chinese web entrepreneurs are starting to surpass U.S. tech icons like Paul Allen, Eric Schmidt, Jerry Yang and Sheryl Sandberg," said Russell Flannery, senior editor and Shanghai Bureau Chief for Forbes Asia.
"That is telling us that China will compete with, if not surpass, the U.S. for the lion's share of new wealth to be made in an era when e-commerce and mobile services are going to become a lot more pervasive," he added.
Closely following Ma was Robin Li, the 45-year old founder of Baidu, China's largest internet search engine. Li's net worth is $14.7 billion, up from $11.1 billion a year ago. Nasdaq traded shares of Baidu hit record highs of above $231 per share in September.
Ma Huateng, founder and CEO of Chinese internet giant Tencent, also had a good year. His ranking jumped to third from fifth as his fortune grew to $14.4 billion from $10.2 billion last year.
Liu Qiangdong, the CEO of JD.com, China's second largest e-commerce firm, climbed to the tenth position on this year's list with a net worth of $7.1 billion, boosted by JD.com's successful listing on the Nasdaq in May.