There are seven continents on this planet and the largest one is Asia, so it’s no surprise there would be hundreds upon hundreds of successful people living there. Some are business people while others are entrepreneurs. Asia has some of the most beautiful landscapes and some of the richest history we’ve ever seen. If you’ve never visited there before then I’m sure it’s on your bucket list. Just like every other successful nation, Asia has its own set of political issues. But the people on this list have persevered through that. This is the list of the richest people in Asia.
Richest People in Asia – 2018 List
#10 – Li Hejun (Net Worth: $4.8 billion) [China]
Kicking off the list is none other than Li Hejun, a Chinese businessman who was born in 1967 in Heyuan, China. He is the highest shareholder of the company Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Limited. Try saying that five times fast.
Li Hejun was once the richest man in all of China. Life was going great for him as he had a net worth of over $26 billion. However, things changed and in May of 2015 his company stock, which was once worth more than $30 billion, plummeted 47% in just half an hour. This resulted in the loss of over $14 billion. Though he is still worth nearly $5 billion you can’t help but feel sorry for Li, as the loss of that amount of money was devastating to him and his wife whom have one child together.
#9 – Azim Premji (Net Worth: $16.5 billion) [India]
Premji was born in India in 1945 and was born into wealth as his father was already a very prominent and well known business man. His father who was known as the Rice King of Burma, started the company Western Indian Vegetable Products which would deal in hydrogenated oil manufacturing.
Premji would go on to study abroad and get a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University in the United States. After he received his degree he would return home to India to take over his father’s business as his father tragically passed away. Rather than just continue the business his father started he used his knowledge as an engineer to transform the business to one that made microcomputers. Changing the name of the company to Wipro, Premji would go on to become a multi-billionaire.
Over the years, Premji would go on to become one of the most philanthropic business persons in all of India by donating over 30% of total profits for educational purposes. He’s even been involved with members of high society like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Together they’ve pledged to donate most of their wealth to charitable causes.
#8 – Dilip Shanghvi (Net Worth: $17.5 billion) [India]
Dilip was born on October 1955 in the small town of Amreli. He would eventually attend J. J. Ajmera High School and then at the University of Calcutta where he would earn a Bachelor of Commerce degree. After college he would help his father sell wholesale generic prescription drugs. The fact he was selling other peoples’ [legal] drugs didn’t satisfy him so he decided to instead manufacture his own prescription drugs.
In 1982 he started his own prescription drug company called Sun Pharmaceuticals. His wealth surged as he quickly doubled his net worth up to $4.5 billion. With this money he went on to buy other prescription drug companies in the United States and in Israel. In turn he was able to make larger profits as he bought those companies for cheap. Dilip’s risk of starting his own company ended up being paying off big time as he is now regarded as one of the richest business man in all of India.
#7 – Tadashi Yanai (Net Worth: $19.9 billion) [Japan]
Routinely ranked as one of the richest man in all of Japan, Yanai started at the bottom by selling men’s clothes wear at a supermarket called Jusco. He would eventually quit Jusco and go on to help his father’s business of repairing people’s clothes on the side of the road. After working with his father for more than 10 years Yanai would open his own casual wear shop called Uniqlo. He would also rename his father’s business to Fast Retailing. Both of these clothing stores have seen a tremendous amount of success.
Much like Azim Premji, Tadashi Yanai is a very charitable person as he periodically donates large sums of money to people in need. Most recently he donated over 1 billion yen (8 million USD) to the victims of the Sendai earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan in 2011. His efforts haven’t come easy to him as Yanai himself has publicly stated he has made many errors with his business but it all seems to have worked out. Especially with him winning several retail awards and being named in Bloomberg Markets magazine as one of the 50 most influential people.
#6 – Mukesh Ambani (Net Worth: $20.1 billion) [India]
Born in 1957, Mukesh would go on to get a BE degree in chemical engineering at the Institute of Chemical Technology. He enrolled for an MBA at Stanford but he unfortunately had to discontinue the program and return home to help his father with his upcoming telecommunications business. His father’s business was quite small at the time but it would quickly expand, growing into what is now known as Reliance Communications Limited, which is the company that is helping bring 4G broadband services to India.
Mukesh is also the chairman and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries Limited, a fortune 500 company that deals with petrochemicals and oil and gas sectors. This company skyrocketed his wealth and turned Mukesh into one of the richest people in India. It also allowed him to create a subsidiary company called Reliance Retail Ltd., which is now known as the largest retailer in India. With all of his wealth, Mukesh was able to secure himself and his family with a 14-floor apartment building, costing over 1 billion dollars to purchase. His vast amount of currency has caused quite a bit of controversy as there are rumors of him shorting oil prices and pocketing profits for himself.
#5 – Jack Ma (Net Worth: 23.6 billion) [China]
Jack Ma was born in China on September 10th, 1964. From the time he was very young, Jack had a very keen eye for business and was able to see opportunity where most people wouldn’t. By the age of 9 he already knew he wanted to learn English so he would ride his bike every morning to a nearby hotel and guide tourists around the city. By listening in and contributing to their conversations he was able to teach himself English. Jack enjoyed English so much that he would get a bachelor’s degree in English while studying at Hangzhou Normal University. After he graduated he would spend some time being a teacher where he would meet his future wife.
In 1995 Jack had decided to travel to the United States. It was there he would discover the Internet and he quickly realized he knew he could make something of himself by taking advantage of what the Internet has to offer. He would soon create a website that helps business owners create websites for their companies. With the help of his friends, Ma would also begin building websites for Chinese-based companies. He would return to Hangzhou and create popular websites like Alibaba, a website that deals with business-to-business marketplaces. Ma has made a very successful name for himself, going on to become a pretty major philanthropist and has even won several awards during his lifetime. Most recently he was given the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Asian Awards.
#4 Al-Waleed bin Talal (Net Worth: $24 billion) [Saudi Arabia]
Talal was born in 1955 and to this day has one of the sharpest minds in the world when it comes to business. Born into the royal family of Lebanon, Talal would attend military school and then move from Lebanon to California to acquire a college education. He ended up getting a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Menlo College. Afterwards he would go back home to Lebanon to receive a master’s degree in social science from Syracuse University. During this time he was able to amass a huge fortune from real estate.
Using the money he made from college he went on to purchase shares in other companies, often times being able to multiply his money tenfold. To date he has made investments in banks, AOL, 21st Century Fox, Twitter and even Disneyland Paris.
Talal is no stranger to philanthropy and causing controversy. After the terrible attack New York suffered on September 11th, 2011, Talal quickly made a donation of $10 million to the mayor of New York. He has also started up Western universities in the Middle East.
#3 – Lee Shau-kee (Net Worth: $25.9 billion) [China]
Lee Shau-kee is one of the few people in the world who is a fourth-born multi-billionaire. Born in January of 1928 and is the youngest of four siblings, The Honorable Lee is a very prominent real estate tycoon who invests in multiple restaurants, internet services and hotels. He is such a good business man and has made a very high return of profit on his investments that it has earned him the nickname ‘Hong Kong’s Warren Buffet’. His vast wealth has inspired him to create several hostels that people age 18 – 30 can purchase at half the market price. This is so people who aren’t financially stable can live in a nice area at an affordable price.
#2 – Li Ka-shing (Net Worth: $28 billion) [China]
Li Ka-shing is considered one of the most powerful figures in all of Asia. Born in July of 1928, Li is the chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings – a conglomerate that deals with investments and property holdings. In total these companies employ more than 250,000 people.
Li began his career by getting a job at the age of 15 at a plastics trading company. His father passed away and his family relied on him to make money, so Li would work anywhere up to 16 hours per day. With his experience from this job he would go on to create his own plastic manufacturing company. He had found an affordable way to make high quality plastic flowers and sell them at low prices. This ended up being a very successful business avenue for Li but after 8 years his lease for the building had expired and he was unable to renew it.
After being forced to develop a new site by himself, Li had decided to get into the real estate business. He would also get into electrical plants, internet technology and even became a shareholder in some of the largest banks in China. Over the decades his investments have made him a very wealthy person. Although he has billions of dollars he still prefers living a very minimalist lifestyle. Fancy clothes, watches and cars aren’t something that Li is interested in. Instead he prefers to donate his billions to charities that help advance technology and medicine.
#1 – Wang Jianlin (Net Worth: $32.4 billion) [China]
Wang Jianlin was born in 1954 and when he turned 15 he would spend 17 long years in the Chinese army. Today he now owns the biggest real estate and movie theater company in China but he didn’t get there easily. He started working as an officer administrator in the city of Dalian. From there he would go on to the Dalian Wanda Group which is the largest cinema chain in China. Jianlin is someone who very much prefers his customers feeling luxurious wherever they are. His company owns dozens of very fancy hotels, cinemas and shopping plazas. He purchased AMC Entertainment in 2012 which homes AMC Theaters for $2.6 billion and since then has worked on improving the quality of the theaters worldwide.
There you have the list of the richest people in Asia. I think the best part about this list is how charitable most of these men are. You have a group of ten people who are making billions upon billions of dollars yet their main concern is trying to make the world a better place. There’s always that stigma of assuming all rich people are greedy and selfish but that isn’t always the case and this list is proof of that.
Have you ever met anyone from this list? Let me know in the comments below!