In­ter­net econ­omy driv­ing IT sec­tor’s wealth

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­

The boom­ing in­ter­net econ­omy is play­ing an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant role in sup­port­ing wealth growth in China’s IT in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to a re­port re­leased on Tues­day.

Ac­cord­ingto thean­nu­alHu­run IT Rich List, the av­er­age wealth of the top 50 Chi­nese IT ty­coons hit a record, surg­ing 13 per­cent year-on-year to 26.9bil­lion yuan ($4 bil­lion).

Jack Ma, founder and ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of e-com­merce gi­ant Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd topped the rank­ing of China’s rich­est IT peo­ple for the third con­sec­u­tive year, de­fend­ing his po­si­tion against ri­vals in­clud­ing Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd founder Pony Ma.

Jack Ma and his fam­ily’s to­tal wealth in IT in­dus­try was 195 bil­lion yuan, fol­lowed by Pony Ma, whose wealth in­creased by 30 per­cent yearon-year to 134 bil­lion yuan, ac­cord­ing to the Shang­haibased Hu­run Re­search In­sti­tute.

Due to the rapid growth of the on­line gam­ing sec­tor, NetEase Inc founder Ding Lei dou­bled his wealth to 96 bil­lion yuan, sur­pass­ing Baidu Inc Chair­man Robin Li and rank­ing third in the IT rich list.

Hu­run Chair­man Ru­pert Hoogew­erf said: “Those en­trepreneurs should be called ‘su­per wealth cre­ators’ in­stead of sim­ply ‘rich peo­ple’, which could highlight their con­tri­bu­tion to China’s so­ci­ety and econ­omy. They’ve cre­ated such a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties and jobs.”

“The re­cent tech­no­log­i­cal ex­plo­sion pro­vides a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment for those IT ty­coons. In the last two to three years, sev­eral tech­nolo­gies have seen break­throughs, in­clud­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, vir­tual real­ity and cloud tech­nol­ogy. Some have al­ready been in­te­grated into our daily lives, while oth­ers will soon be im­ple­mented,” said Zhao Zim­ing, an an­a­lyst at in­ter­net con­sul­tancy Analysys.

Com­pared with an av­er­age age of 45, 52-year-old Jack Ma is the old­est among the top 10 IT ty­coons.

Among the top 50 IT ty­coons, five were born in the 1980s, in­clud­ing 33-year-old Cheng Wei, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Bei­jing-based Didi Chux­ing.

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