Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, is the richest person in China, according to Hurun report. (Reuters)
More than half of the 10 richest people in China made their fortune from the fast-growing real estate sector, which benefited from favourable market conditions in the mainland.
According to the latest rich list by the Hurun Research Institute, ranking the 1000 richest individuals in China, six in the top ten have real estate operations in the country.
Three billionaires made their fortune from the IT industry, while automotive and drinks sectors represented the remaining.
China's richest man in 2013 is 59-year-old Wang Jianlin, the founder of property developer Dalian Wanda, with his wealth more than doubling to $22bn (£14bn, €17bn).
Other real estate giants in the list are Yang Huiyan of Country Garden Properties, Yan Bin of Reignwood, Xu Rongmao of Shimao, Zhang Jindong of Suning and Xu Jiayin of Evergrande.
Along with its unprecedented economic growth over the last two decades, China experienced a property bubble. In order to rein in the issue, the People's Bank of China tightened its monetary policy in January 2010. However, it had to loosen the measures in November 2011 due to the loss of economic momentum.
Since then, China's property developers have been benefiting from increased sales and better home prices, leading to a surge in their shares.
Pony Ma Huateng of internet giant Tencent, Robin Li Yanhong of search engine Baidu and Jiang Bin of microphone-maker Goertek are the top billionaires from the IT sector.
"Strong performances in real estate and IT have driven China's richest to new records," said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher.
Top 10 List
1. Wang Jianlin
The chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group has witnessed his personal wealth doubling to $22bn this year to become the richest person in China. Wang owns 61% stake in Dalian Wanda, which is growing as one of the biggest landlords in the world with 17 million square metres of real estate space projected to be under management by the end of 2013. Wang has also become the largest operator of cinema screens in the world with the acquisition of a US cinema chain in 2012. He also acquired British luxury yacht maker Sunseeker for $520m and announced a $1bn investment into a hotel and luxury apartment complex in London.
2. Zong Qinghou & Family
Despite his personal wealth growing 48% year-on-year, Zong could not retain the No.1 spot for a record fourth time. He increased his stake in drinks firm Wahaha Group to 95% from 80% in 2012. Aged 68, he has a net worth of $18.7bn.
3. Pony Ma Huateng
Aged 42, Ma is the youngest in this year's top 10 list. He benefited from a more than 50% surge in Tencent's share price in 2013 due to the success of instant messaging app weixin. Tencent has a market cap of $90bn, valuing Ma's 10.25% shareholding in the company at about $10.2bn.
4. Wei Jianjun
With his net worth tripling to $8.4bn, Wei retained his No. 4 position. He owns 35% of the largest non-state-owned car maker in China, Great Wall Motor. Aged 49, he was a delegate to the 18th Party Congress at the end of 2012.
5. Yang Huiyan & family
Yang was the richest person in 2007 with $18bn. Her wealth increased by 60% to $8.3bn in 2013. She inherited the wealth when her father Yang Guoqiang transferred his 58% holding in property developer Country Garden before its listing.
6. Robin Li Yanhong
Li, 45, dropped down three places to sixth with $8.1bn, based on his 16% shareholding in search provider Baidu. It is the second year running that Li's wealth has dropped.
6. Yan Bin
Yan dropped down two places to six and his personal wealth amounts to $8.1bn. He owns prime real estate in Beijing and the Chinese rights for the Red Bull energy drink, with sales of $2bn last year. He is working on a $300m London luxury apartment and hotel development.
8. Xu Rongmao & family
Xu owns 64% of property developer Shimao, which reported a 45% increase in sales for the first half of 2013 to more than $5bn. He jumped three places to become the eight richest man in China with a net worth of $7bn, up 49% year-on-year.
9. Zhang Jindong
Having enjoyed a 73% growth in his wealth to $6.4bn, Zhang has become the ninth richest in the country. In 2012, he increased his shareholding to 40% from 28% in Suning, which underwent a transformation from a traditional retailer into an ecommerce power house.
10. Jiang Bin & family
Jiang climbed 19 places to reach at the tenth place as the value of his shareholding in microphone-maker GoerTek rose 53% to $6.1bn. GoerTek is a supplier of Apple.
10. Xu Jiayin
Xu's wealth has grown by 11% to $6.1bn in 2013. He owns 68% of Evergrande, the largest Hong Kong-listed property developer. Evergrande's sales in the first half of 2013 rose by 27% to $7.2bn.
This article is copyrighted by IBTimes.co.uk, the business news leader