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Shoemaker tops Forbes list of Taiwan’s wealthiest business people for second year running

Zhang Congyuan of Huali Industrial Group has a net worth estimated at US$11.7 billion

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The headquarters of one of Zhang Congyuan's companies in the Chinese city of Zhongshan. (Facebook, HongFu2002 photo)

The headquarters of one of Zhang Congyuan's companies in the Chinese city of Zhongshan. (Facebook, HongFu2002 photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — According to the new World’s Billionaires list from Forbes Magazine, shoemaker Zhang Congyuan (張聰淵) keeps his title as Taiwan’s wealthiest individual this year with a fortune estimated at US$11.7 billion (NT$336 billion).

Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk replaced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at the top based on a net worth estimated at US$219 billion, the publication said Wednesday (April 6). The top Asian on the list is Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani from India at No. 10.

Zhang ranks at No. 163 on the global list. He and his family run Huali Industrial Group, which makes shoes for global brands such as Nike, Puma, and Vans.

On the Forbes list, he outpaces more familiar names on the Taiwan business scene, including Want Want China Times owner Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) listed with a net worth of US$7.8 billion, Chang Chun petrochemical group founder Suhon Lin (林書鴻) with US$7.2 billion, Foxconn Technology Group founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) with US$6.9 billion, and Quanta Computer founder Barry Lam (林百里) with US$5.9 billion, the Liberty Times reported.

The number of billionaires in the world dropped by 87 to 2,668 due to the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and sluggish markets, according to Forbes. Russia lost 34 billionaires, while China ended up with 87 fewer wealthy individuals due to a government crackdown on the technology sector.