While Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” may be a work of fiction, there certainly are Asians out there who are making billions of dollars—here’s a list of this year’s top ten wealthiest as of March 2023.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a record of the world’s 500 richest people, which is updated each day with thorough data on their net worth. As of March 31, 2023, a total of five Asian entrepreneurs have made it to the list’s top 50, which is quite the impressive feat.
In fact, the world’s twelfth richest person on the database is none other than Mukesh Ambani: the chairman and director of Reliance Industries, which owns one of the world’s largest oil refining complexes. Among the conglomerate’s other enterprises is a 4G wireless network that runs all across India. In total, it’s estimated that Reliance Industries has $104 billion in revenue.
There are a number of other Asians with jaw-dropping net worth and large-scale businesses that are making 10-digit figures. To learn more about them, below is a list of the continent’s top 10, including Ambani:
As mentioned, Ambani is currently the richest Asian in the world with a net worth of $77 billion. Besides running the multi-billion dollar Reliance Industries, the business mogul also owns residential properties that are worth $400 million, as well as the Mumbai Indians professional cricket team, according to Bloomberg’s official overview.
The 65-year-old took over the conglomerate of his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, upon his sudden death in 2002. Initially in the textile business, Dhirubhai established Reliance Industries, which specialized in fabrics, textiles, and energy. The company eventually extended its reach, delving into the telecommunication and entertainment industries.
Ambani handles the refining, petrochemicals, oil and gas and textiles operations of the conglomerate, while his brother Anil Ambani runs the telecommunications, asset management, entertainment, and power generation businesses.
Next up on the list is Zhong Shanshan, who placed 14th on the index, coming quite close to Ambani in terms of wealth. The Chinese tycoon has a net worth of $67.8 billion and is the chairman of bottled water company Nongfu Spring, which is based in Hangzhou and had an estimated revenue of $4.6 billion in 2021, as per Bloomberg’s official overview.
Besides running a multi-billion dollar beverage enterprise, Zhong was also a shareholder of the Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise. The pharmaceutical company—which specializes in vaccines and hepatitis test-kits—had a revenue of ¥5.8 billion in 2021.
Another Indian entrepreneur who made it to the index’s top 30 is Gautam Adani, ranking 21st place among the 500 people on the list. With a net worth of $56.2 billion, the 60-year-old is the second richest person in India based on Bloomberg’s data.
Adani is the founder of the largest port operator in India, the Adani Group. Based in the city of Ahmedabad, the infrastructure business is also the country’s biggest thermal coal producer and coal trader, with a revenue of $9.3 billion on March 31, 2022.
Ma Huateng is the co-founder and CEO of the Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings. The multi-billion dollar company runs instant messaging, mobile gaming, and online payment platforms, which include the popular WeChat app which had roughly 1.3 billion users as of September 30, 2022.
According to Bloomberg’s index, his net worth is worth $42.3 billion, while his company had a revenue of $86.8 billion in 2021. Ma Huateng is also a philanthropist, having donated $2 billion of Tencent’s shares to charity according to his official Bloomberg overview.
China appears to have a strong roster of tycoons, as the next person on the list also hails from the land of the Red Dragon. Much like Ma, Zhang is the founder of another successful technology enterprise called ByteDance.
Based in Beijing, ByteDance is actually the group behind the highly popular video-sharing platform, TikTok. The company has more than 1 billion users around the world (with an estimated revenue of $58 billion in 2021), so it’s no surprise that Zhang’s net worth amounts to $42.3 billion.
The Alibaba group is a company that needs no introduction, as they’ve become one of China’s most popular e-commerce giants, and have expanded their services worldwide. The founder of the company is Jack Ma, who’s net worth currently amounts to $34.4 billion.
In March 2022, Alibaba had a revenue of $133 billion. At present, it runs the large-scale online shopping site Taobao and online store facilitator Tmall. The 58-year-old entrepreneur also has a stake in Ant Group, an online payment service that was valued at $103 billion on August 18, 2022 according to an official Bloomberg overview.
Tadashi Yanai is the first and only Japanese tycoon in Bloomberg’s top 50. He is currently the chairman and biggest shareholder of the Tokyo-based Fast Retailing group—one of the largest clothing retailers in Asia and a parent company of Uniqlo. By August 31, 2022, Fast Retailing had an estimated revenue of $19 billion and over 2,300 stores.
Yanai currently has a net worth of $33.9 billion, placing him at 37th place in Bloomberg’s rankings. He also owns two golf courses on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Placing 39th on the Bloomberg rankings is Hong Kong-based billionaire Zeng Yuqun, with a net worth of $33.5 billion. He is the chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), which is the biggest supplier of electric vehicle batteries in the world.
In 2021, the company—which was founded in China—and had an estimated revenue of $20.2 billion. It also started trading publicly in the Shenzhen stock exchange in June 2018.
Low Tuck Kwong
Low Tuck Kwong, a Singapore-born tycoon, has a net worth of $28.8 billion. He is the founder of Bayan Resources, a company in Jakarta that operates ports and sells coals. Founded in 2004, the group had a reported revenue of $2.9 billion in 2021 selling around 40.4 million metric tons of coal.
Low also happens to be the largest shareholder in Metis Energy—a Singaporean renewable energy company—with a 79% stake according to the enterprise’s exchange filing in 2022.
Last but not least in the list is Li Ka-shing, who places 46th among the world’s top 500 billionaires. Born in the Guangdong province of China, Li moved to Hong Kong in the 1940s. By the 1950s, the businessman founded his flagship company Cheung Kong Plastics at the age of 22.
At present, Li’s net worth is estimated to be $28.5 billion. He is the founder of both CK Hutchison Holdings (a large infrastructure conglomerate) and CK Asset Holdings (an asset manager and real estate service provider), which are both based in Hong Kong. In 2022, CK Hutchison Holdings had a revenue of around $33.5 billion.
Besides being an early investor in Siri and Facebook, the 94-year-old also bought the Sydney-based gas and electricity distributor Duet Group for $5.5 billion in 2017. However, by 2018, Li stepped down as chairman of his business empire at the age of 89 and passed down the role to his eldest son Victor—but still remains an adviser of the conglomerate.
Banner Photo via Instagram @mukeshambani.offical.