wealthiest 62 people now own as much as half the world’s population of
about 3.5 billion people does, as the gap between rich and poor
continues to widen rapidly, according to a report by the international
Although half of these super-rich individuals come from the United
States, the list features five investors from the Chinese mainland and
three tycoons from Hong Kong.
On the mainland, technology investors Robin Li, founder of search engine
Baidu; Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, the chief of Tencent Holdings;
and Jack Ma, the founder of the online shopping platform Alibaba, are
included among the world’s richest, reflecting the growing importance of
Internet-related businesses in China.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Chinese real estate and entertainment
conglomerate Wanda Group, and Li Hejun, chairman of energy corporation
the Hanergy Group, are also holders of the world’s largest fortunes.
The wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by more than half a
trillion US dollars to $1.76 trillion, an increase of 44 percent since
2010, Oxfam says in the report, released ahead of the World Economic
Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Chan May Ling, international program director at Oxfam Hong Kong, said:
"I believe that the Chinese government has implemented appropriate tax
reform. ... The key issue is that the new Chinese rich and the
middle-class can help to contribute to poverty alleviation work by
paying appropriate taxes."
Despite the widening wealth gap globally, the number of people living in
extreme poverty has fallen by 650 million since 1981, even though the
global population grew by 2 billion during this time, according to the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.