China's wealthiest millennials got even richer in 2020; here's where their money comes from
HONG KONG — The fortunes of China's wealthiest millennials have continued to grow this year, despite the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest wealth rankings from the respected Hurun Report, China had 60 billionaires aged under 40 in 2020, and their combined worth was more than US$223 billion (S$297 billion).
HONG KONG — The fortunes of China's wealthiest millennials have continued to grow this year, despite the economic downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the latest wealth rankings from the respected Hurun Report, China had 60 billionaires aged under 40 in 2020, and their combined worth was more than US$223 billion (S$297 billion).
Strict lockdown measures helped contain the Covid-19 outbreak quite quickly, and China's economy soon bounced back; it is set to be the only major economy to register growth in 2020.
From young tech entrepreneurs and real estate tycoons to celebrities and athletes, we take a look at some of China's millionaires and billionaires, and reveal how they became part of the world's super-rich.
VIYA, LIVE STREAMER
The 35-year-old Chinese e-commerce star Huang Wei, better known as Viya, has an estimated net worth of more than US$30 million, generated from live online sales, advertising and virtual gifts.
Her popularity grew during lockdown when online shopping became more important than ever. Millions tuned into Viya's broadcasts, and in April she reached a high of more than 37 million viewers.
On the first day of the Singles' Day online shopping bonanza in October, Viya secured 5.32 billion yuan (US$814 million) in sales, Chinese media reported.
With live online shopping continuing to gain momentum, Viya, who has collaborated with American reality television star Kim Kardashian and singer Taylor Swift, is tipped to see her fortune rise even further.
CHENG YIXIAO, TECH ENTREPRENEUR
Mr Cheng is the co-founder of Kuaishou, a very popular Chinese short video app.
Since the pandemic, the platform's monthly active users topped 776 billion, and hosted a billion live-streaming sessions. According to Forbes, Mr Cheng's net worth is around US$3.1 billion.
The 36-year-old began his career as a software engineer at the US tech company Hewlett-Packard (HP) and worked at the Chinese tech company Renren before co-founding Kuaishou.
JACKSON YEE, SINGER-ACTOR
Singer, dancer and actor Jackson Yee is considered one of China's most valuable stars.
As the youngest of three members of the popular Chinese boy band TFBoys, the 19-year-old took the top spot on Forbes China's Top 100 Celebrity List for 2020.
TFBoys have released five albums, and are estimated to be worth US$4 billion.
Yee has also recorded solo singles and starred in films including Better Days and A Little Red Flower.
He has more than 86 million followers on Weibo, the Chinese social media app equivalent to Twitter, and is aiming to crack the Western market.
LI NA, TENNIS PLAYER
Li Na was one of China's top athletes before she retired from tennis in September 2014. The 38-year-old was named world number 2 in February 2014, and was the first from Asia to secure not one but two grand slam titles.
Li was estimated by Forbes to have had a net worth of US$24 million when she retired in September 2014, including income from big-name endorsements from companies such as Nike.
Since stepping off the court, Li has set up her own tennis academy and has been raising a family. In 2019, she became the first player from Asia to be entered into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
PERENNA KEI, PROPERTY EXECUTIVE
Perenna, also known as Ji Kaiting, was named by Forbes in 2014 as the world's youngest billionaire. With an estimated worth of almost US$40 billion, according to Chinese media, her wealth isn't self-made but inherited.
Perenna owns 85 per cent of the real estate company Logan Property Holdings, based in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen. Her father, Ji Haipeng, is the chairman and CEO of the company.
Perenna, 30, maintains a relatively low profile. What is known is that she is a fan of luxury cars, owning one of the world's only "LaFerrari" sports cars. SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST