Hanergy Group chairman Li Hejun may have become China’s richest man as of now, unseating Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma from the top spot, according to a Ming Pao Daily report.
Market capitalization of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. (00566.HK), in which Li holds 90 percent stake, reached HK$149.8 billion on Wednesday, taking the value of Li’s total assets to more than 200 billion yuan (US$32 billion), surpassing Jack Ma’s assets of 176 billion yuan, the report said.
Hanergy Group, headquartered in Beijing, is involved in hydropower, solar power and wind power businesses.
Some observers however feel that the 47-year-old Li’s assets may be overstated. China’s National Audit Administration said in an audit report in 2013 that Hanergy cheated the government to get subsidies by inflating electricity generation output at one of the company’s solar power stations.
Also, the Financial Times had reported that Hanergy’s HK$14.8 billion revenues had all come from parent Hanergy Group, which controls 73 percent of the listed unit’s shares, by selling equipment to the latter since 2010. Hanergy Thin Film Power’s 2013 annual report showed that only about 35 percent of those contracts had been settled, the report noted.
Li started off by selling toys, and later accumulated wealth through mining and property speculation. He set up Hanergy Group in 1994 and entered the hydropower and solar power businesses.
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