According to the list published this year by the Forbes newspaper, there are already 1.645 billionaires on the planet (we mean one trillion as thousand million US $), with a total accumulated fortune of more than 6 trillion (millions of millions). Among them many new names. The bosses of Facebook, Amazon or Bloomberg did not appear on the list in 2004, and at that time half of them were American, and not a single Chinese.
But among the 100 richest people in the world in 2014, 37% are in the United States, 19% are in the European Union, and 9% are in China (including Hong Kong). And if the high concentration of capital in a few hands continues to grow at the current rate, we will have the first trillionaire in 25-30 years.
Evolution of the total number of billionaires on the Forbes list y the sum of all their fortunes.
The richest man in China, Wang Jianlin, principal shareholder of the Dalian Wanda Group conglomerate, is ranked 55th. This company is already one of the largest real estate developers in the world, with more than 17 million m2 of residential, commercial and leisure space. In the first 6 months of 2014 alone, 720 million people visited a shopping center in Wanda.
Wanda project currently under construction in Beijing.
On the other hand, one of the most striking economic phenomena of the last decade has been the online conquest of retail activity. Buying online was still weird 10 years ago. However, it is expected that between 20 and 25% of global purchases will be made by this means in 2016.
In the West we hear a lot about brands like Amazon, eBay and PayPal, but relatively little attention has been paid to big names in Asia. Such as Alibaba, which controls 80% of electronic commerce in China, already one of the largest markets in the world. Its recent IPO represents one of the largest public offerings in history, having raised almost $ 22 bn. It surpasses many other OPVs like those of oil companies, banks, telecommunications, or even that of Facebook, General Motors or VISA.
Faced with this Alibaba movement, Wang Jianlin has allied himself with two other Chinese billionaires: Robin Li, 56th in the Forbes ranking, is the CEO of Baidu, the largest Chinese researcher; and Ma Huateng, 65th in the Forbes ranking, is the CEO of Tencent, the largest technology company in all of Asia, providing all kinds of mobile services.
Li, Jianglin and Huateng announcing the agreement in Shenzhen, (August 29, 2014)
They joined forces to launch the largest O2O (online to offline) platform in the world. It will allow users to search for products on their smartphones and then buy them physically in any of the 107 shopping centers of the Wanda group. But also in their cinemas, hotels and resorts, since Wanda is strongly committed to its expansion in the leisure sector.
Will Wang Jianlin be the first trillionaire in history?