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Wanda’s Wang Jianlin holds off Jack Ma to top China rich list as billionaires top US

Property tycoon Wang Jianlin held off Alibaba's Jack Ma to retain the crown of China's richest man, a list of the country's billionaires published on Thursday showed.

The annual Hurun Rich List 2016 also revealed that there were 754 Chinese billionaires in the world compared with 535 in the U.S. There were 594 billionaires in mainland China alone.

The list was a snapshot of wealth as of August 15, said the publisher.

With a personal fortune of $32.1 billion, Wang runs the Dalian Wanda conglomerate which has interests in real estate and entertainment. The company owns U.S. theater chain AMC and movie maker Legendary Entertainment and is in talks to purchase Dick Clark Productions.

The fastest riser on the list was Yao Zhenhua of Baoneng Group, who finished in the fourth position. He shot up 200 spots on the list following a nine-fold increase in his wealth to $17.2 billion. He made the news this year for his aggressive purchases of the shares of leading real estate developer China Vanke.

Wang Jianlin (L), Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group top Hurun Report's China Rich List.
VCG | Getty Images
Wang Jianlin (L), Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group and Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group top Hurun Report's China Rich List.

"Yao represents the new wave of wealth creation by financial investments in China. It started with trading twenty years ago, followed by manufacturing, real estate development, IT and today financial investment," said Hurun's founder, Rupert Hoogewerf.

Alibaba's high-profile Founder and Chairman Ma meanwhile saw his wealth surge 41 percent to $30.6 billion—although that still fell short of Wang's wealth.

Others in the list include tech giant Tencent's founder Pony Ma and and Zhong Qinghou of Wahaha, a beverage maker. Search engine Baidu's Robin Li and his wife, Melissa Ma, came in the eight spot.

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