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Real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin is China’s richest man of 2017, according to media company Hurun Report.
Hurun Report is a high-end publishing company that monitors individuals with the highest net worth in China every year through its China Rich List, which began in 1999.
China Evergrande Group’s Xu Jiayin has been reported to outperform last year’s richest man, commercial property tycoon Wang Jianlin, after Xu acquired $43 billion worth of wealth. Following Xu in the list is Tencent Holdings founder Pony Ma, while Jack Ma of the popular online giant Alibaba landed in third place. Real estate heiress and China’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, placed fourth.
Fifty-nine-year-old Xu is a self-made businessman who founded Evergrande Group in 1996. With over 25 years of experience in real estate investment and property development under his name, he managed several companies such as biscuit machine manufacturer Guangzhou Pengda Group Ltd. and Wuyang Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.
Sales-wise, Evergrande Group is one of China’s largest property developers, after providing thousands of middle-class residences in the country. Because of the increased value of property assets in China, the company’s shares ballooned to over 450%, resulting in a $30 billion increase in Xu’s wealth in 2016.
Aside from making a name for himself in the real estate industry, Xu has been recognized for using his wealth for a good cause. In 2016, Evergrande gave its first donation of over $150 million for poverty eradication initiatives. This gave rise to various projects, such as 200 agricultural programs. In addition, Evergrande has financed various education-related projects, like scholarships and the purchase of instructional facilities.