Alibaba's Jack Ma was dethroned as China's richest person and the second richest person in Asia by Zhong Shanshan. As per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index on 24 September, Shashan's net worth stood at $56.6 billion when compared to Ma's $56.3 billion.
Reliance Industries' Mukesh Ambani continues to be Asia's richest and the fifth richest in the world with a net worth of $83.4 billion.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a daily ranking of the world's richest people that is updated at the close of every trading day in New York.
Who is Zhong Shanshan?
Shanshan's extreme wealth is a recent development. His wealth grew after the successful listing of his bottled water and beverage company Nongfu Spring in early September, in which he holds a significant stake of 84 percent. Zhong also has a 75 percent stake in vaccine maker Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, the share price of which jumped 14-fold after the company listed in April in Shanghai.
Nongfu Spring is a major brand name in China's consumption sector with its signature products and a proven model generating predictable revenue and profit.
Local Chinese media reports say that Zhong comes from a humble background. Born in Hangzhou, his elementary school education was disrupted during China's chaotic Cultural Revolution. He worked in construction and later got into college in 1977, learning Chinese.
He then started working as a journalist for the state-run Zhejiang Daily newspaper and later also worked as a sales agent for Chinese beverage company Wahaha, before founding his bottled water company in 1996. His company started diversifying in 2003, selling juice, coffee, yoghurt, sports drinks and tea-based beverages.