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Rise of China's Green Billionaires

China’s push to decarbonize its economy by 2060 - a target President Xi Jinping surprised the world with at the UN in September 2020 - has driven a surge in wealth for the country’s green entrepreneurs, according to the Hurun Rich List, which tracks the wealth of China’s entrepreneurs.

As one of the world's worst polluters, it's good news that China's entrepreneurs can see and realise the potential in the green energy sector.

“A boom in new energy entrepreneurs, sparked by carbon reduction targets, as well as a spate of new listings of tech-related companies drove this year’s Hurun China Rich List to records heights, adding more than 20 percent, both in terms of number of individuals and also total wealth,” Rupert Hoogewerf, the list’s publisher told Fortune.

According to the Hurun Rich List, eight of the 10 individuals with the fastest-growing wealth are all engaged in the business of “new energy” creation - including Zeng Yuqun, founder of battery maker CATL, and Wang Chuanfu, CEO of Warren Buffett-backed electric-vehicle maker BYD, who are worth $47.4 billion and $22 billion, respectively.

In a sign of the changing geopolitical landscape, the annual Hurun Rich List (established in 1999) included entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan in its rankings for the first time this year.

The regular update on Chinese private wealth serves as a loose benchmark for tracking the changing sentiments of China's consumers, investors, and policymakers. While green tech is ascendant, riding Beijing’s push for decarbonization, the opposite is true for the country’s internet bohemoths, after the government’s crackdown on the sector’s data practices and monopolistic behavior.


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