Oct 20, 2021 06:09 PM

TikTok Co-Founder Is China’s Richest Internet Tycoon, Forbes Says

What’s new: Zhang Yiming, co-founder of the company behind short-video sensation TikTok, has become the richest person in China’s internet industry for the first time, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaire ranking.

Zhang, the 37-year-old co-founder of ByteDance Ltd., now has a net worth of $59.4 billion. According to Forbes, he’s the 20th richest person in the world and China’s No. 2.

Zhong Shanshan, chairman of bottled water company Nongfu Spring Co. Ltd., held onto the country’s top spot with a net worth of more than $60 billion.

Slipping to second place in China’s internet industry is Pony Ma, founder of Tencent Holdings Ltd. Ma also fell to 29th in the total global ranking, a bit behind Robin Zeng, the founder of Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd.

Background: Ma ranked 15th on April’s Forbes 2021 Billionaire List. Over the past few months, his net worth dropped over 20% to $50.2 billion while Zhang’s surged over 65%.

In May, Zhang announced he would quit his job as CEO of the 9-year-old technology firm and instead focus on “longer-term initiatives” after stepping back from day-to-day responsibilities.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Manyun Zou ( and editor Joshua Dummer (

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