After surpassing Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani recently, China's bottled water king Zhong Shunshun has now become richer than The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index says the shares of Zhong's bottled water company Nongfu Spring Co spiked 18 per cent in the first two days of 2021, leading to a rise in the overall net worth of the Chinese billionaire, who's also known as 'Lone Wolf' for his non-involvement in politics and business groups.
Nongfu's shares have surged 200 per cent since its listing in September 2020. Interestingly, he's the second Chinese tycoon after Wang Jianlin to make an entry in the world's top 10 richest businessmen list since 2012. His other company, a pharmaceutical giant Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co went public in April 2020 and now its share is up 2,800 per cent, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. His company is also developing a nasal coronavirus vaccine.
Zhong, 66, had replaced Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani as Asia's richest person on December 31. Zhong's current fortune stands at $91.7 billion, up from $70.9 billion earlier this year, making him the 6th richest person on the planet. Buffett with $86.2 billion fortune is on 7th. However, Buffett has also donated about $37 billion of his wealth for charity.
Zhong also eclipsed another Chinese giant Jack Ma of Alibaba recently, and his rise to the top in Asia is believed to be "one of the fastest'' in history. Both Shanshan's companies, Nonfu and Wantai, are top in their respective fields -- former is the market leader and later is developing vaccines. The fall in the shares of China's tech companies amid increased government scrutiny also led to a climb in his fortune.
Meanwhile, Mukesh Ambani recently dropped down to eleventh position (now 12th) in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index after reaching the fourth spot earlier this year. Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Tesla's Elon Musk top the chart.