|Xinhua file photo of Zong Qinghou
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese beverage magnate Zong Qinghou, chairman of soft drinks maker Wahaha, has topped the Hurun Rich List 2012 with a personal fortune of 12.6 billion U.S. dollars, said a report on Monday.
It is the second time the 67-year-old Zong has taken the crown after topping the list in 2010, said the report launched by the Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute. The organization is known for its annual China Rich List.
Following Zong, Wang Jianlin of real estate giant Dalian Wanda, and Li Yanhong of China's search engine firm Baidu gained the list's second and third positions, respectively.
In a year when the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 23 percent, 469 of the top 1,000 of the Hurun Rich List saw their wealth shrink, according to the report. These were mainly companies from the solar, textiles and retail sectors.
Meanwhile, 291 saw their wealth grow and 114 stayed the same. There were 150 new faces.
"Although this year has seen some significant bloodletting in terms of wealth, it is worth remembering that these entrepreneurs are still up 40 percent on two years ago and almost ten times from ten years ago", said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher.
Hoogewerf began compiling the China Rich List in 1999.
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