Mukesh Ambani has become Asia’s wealthiest person again after Zhong Shanshan’s bottled-water company tanked a record 20% this week. The Reliance Industries chairman net worth is $80 billion and the Chinese tycoon worth $76.6 billion, down more than $22 billion from a peak just last week, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index said.
Shanshan had previously become Asia’s richest person, surpassing Chinese tech titans like Jack Ma, Bloomberg had reported. In September, the businessman who spun his wealth from bottled water and vaccines had usurped Jack Ma as China’s richest man.
Zhong’s Nongfu Spring, which claims to be number one in China’s massive bottled water market, is ubiquitous across a country where most people shun tap water for health reasons. The company raised nearly $1.1 billion in its initial public offering. Zhong is also the chairman of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Co. Ltd., a vaccine manufacturer that listed on the mainland in April.
It is developing a Covid-19 vaccine nasal spray in conjunction with a prominent university. Zhong, a 66-year-old former reporter from Zhejiang who state media say was also once a construction worker, is often referred to by Chinese media as a “lone wolf” for his rare public appearances and reluctance to be interviewed.