Millionaire factory China lags on self-made stars

Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman, Alibaba Group
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman, Alibaba Group

China may be minting millionaires at a staggering rate, but the nation boasts just two representatives in a new ranking of the world's 25 wealthiest self-made individuals.

Beijing-based conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group's chairman Wang Jianlin and Alibaba's founder and executive chairman Jack Ma were the only Chinese to feature on the list published by Wealth-X on Tuesday.

With a personal fortune of $35.2 billion and $26.7 billion respectively, Wang and Ma rank in 9th and 16th place.

This is no chump change, but their wealth is still a fraction of the world's richest self-made man. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was perched at the top of the ranking with a net worth of $85.7 billion. Legendary investor Warren Buffett's $70.1 billion fortune placed him in second.

American business magnates dominated the chart, accounting for 14 of the 25 of the wealthiest self-made individuals. Their combined wealth amounted to $514.2 billion, which is greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Norway.

"The technology sector has proved yet again to be an incubator of great fortunes with many on the list… amassing significant wealth by founding and building technology-based companies," said Wealth-X , a ultra high net worth intelligence provider.

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Oracle's Larry Ellison, Amazon's Jeffrey Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin, ranked 4th, 6th, 8th, 11th and 12th, respectively.

Amancio Ortega, the Spanish fast-fashion tycoon behind the Zara chain, was the highest ranking non-American on the list, in third place with a net worth of $65 billion, followed by Sweden's Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA, in the fifth spot with $48.1 billion.