Beijing: The number of billionaires from China has declined for the first time due to the sluggish domestic stock market and government curbs on sectors like real estate.
The number of Chinese, who dominated the Forbes Billionaires List in the past, dropped from 115 last year to 95 this year. The list contained 1,226 billionaires from all over the world.
A total of 40 former billionaires from China, who are mainly engaged in pharmaceutical, property and manufacturing sectors, could not make the newly released list, the official media in Beijing reported.
The number of Chinese, who dominated the Forbes Billionaires List in the past, dropped from 115 last year to 95 this year.
Hong Kong businessman Li Ka-shing, who was ranked 9th on the Forbes list released on Thursday, was China's richest man with personal wealth of USD 25.5 billion.
The richest person from the mainland China was Li Yanhong, Chairman of search engine company Baidu Inc, with personal assets of USD 10.2 billion.
Li is followed by Liang Wen'gen, Chairman of Sany Heavy Industry, and Zong Qinghou, Chairman of beverage giant Wahaha Group, with personal wealth of USD 8.1 billion and USD 6.5 billion respectively.
"The weak performance of Chinese billionaires this year is largely due to the sluggish stock market last year, which had squeezed their fortunes," Russell Flannery, the Shanghai bureau chief of Forbes magazine, told the state run Global Times.
"The property sector has been significantly affected by policy curbs, so the wealth of property developers has shrunk quickly," Feng Pengcheng, a professor at University of International Business and Economics, said.
Meanwhile, 22 business people from China made a debut on the Forbes list this year. "Among these new billionaires, some of them gathered fortunes from initial public offerings and others did their businesses relatively well," Flannery said.
According to Feng "More enterprise leaders with innovation capabilities will appear on the rich list. However, those billionaires who depend on cheap labour costs or resources will gradually lose their advantages."