The Hurun Report, which is China’s best-known list of wealthy individuals, estimates the 59-year-old’s wealth has quadrupled to $43 billion in 2017. Xu, who is also known as Hui Ka Yan, moved up nine places from last year.
His company Evergrande is China’s largest property group by sales, which has no doubt been pushed on by China’s booming property market—which Beijing has been attempting to tame. But Evergrande’s business is built on a large amount of debt. According to CNN, there are concerns on whether it can sustain its growth and ratings agency Fitch warned that it won’t be able to significantly reduce that debt due to its high interest expenses and payouts to shareholders.
Other winners include Ma Huateng, the founder and chief of internet conglomerate Tencent (TCTZF), who took the No. 2 spot from Alibaba (BABA) executive chairman Jack Ma—now in third. Jianlin dropped to fifth after declines in the share price of Dalian Wanda.