Mumbai overtakes Beijing to become Asia's billionaire capital for the first time

Move over, Beijing.

Mumbai is now the Asian capital with the most number of billionaires, according to the Hurun Research Institute’s global rich list.

This is the first time that India’s most populous city has taken the top spot in Asia.

Topping the 2024 global rich list for cities is New York (119), followed by London (97). In Asia, Mumbai — India’s financial capital — moved ahead with 92 billionaires, according to Hurun. Following close behind are Beijing (91) and Shanghai (87).

There are currently 3,279 billionaires globally, a 5% increase from 2023, the report showed.

According to the country ranking, China still tops the list with 814 billionaires even though the country lost 155 billionaires from a year ago. The U.S. came in second with 800 billionaires, while India came in third with 271.

“China had a bad year,” the research firm noted. “Wealth creation in China has gone through deep changes these last few years, with the wealth of billionaires from real estate and renewables down.”

China’s Zhong Shanshan, founder and chairman of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring, maintained his spot as China’s richest person. Colin Huang, founder of e-commerce player Pinduoduo, leaped ahead of Tencent CEO Ma Huateng and snatched second place this year.

The U.S. — which added 109 billionaires in 2023 — only has 14 billionaires fewer than China, according to Hurun.

Artificial intelligence was a significant driver for the increase in ultrawealthy people in the U.S., the report showed.

“Whilst [Nvidia CEO] Jensen Huang has grabbed many of the headlines as Nvidia broke through the $2 trillion mark, catapulting him into the Hurun Top 30 as a result, the billionaires behind Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Oracle and Meta have seen significant surges in their wealth as investors bet on the value generated by AI,” the report said.

Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index showed that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are the top two billionaires in the U.S. with a net worth of $201 billion and $190 billion, respectively.

Mukesh Ambani (Sujit Jaiswal / AFP via Getty Images file)
Mukesh Ambani (Sujit Jaiswal / AFP via Getty Images file)

Taylor Swift joined Hurun Research’s list with a net worth of $1.2 billion after beginning her record-breaking Eras Tour in March 2023, having performed in the U.S., South America, Australia, Singapore and Japan so far.

“Over half her fortune stems from royalties and touring, including US$190 million from the Eras tour’s first leg and US$35 million from its concert film. The rest is buoyed by her music catalogue’s value, notably after her first six albums were sold to Shamrock Capital for US$300 million in 2020,” the report said.

After the U.S., India had the second largest new additions with 84 new members on its ultrarich list.

The South Asian nation is now the world’s fastest-growing economy after gross domestic product grew 8.4% in the October-December period.

In December, India’s stock market overtook Hong Kong’s to become the seventh largest in the world. It is now valued at over $4 trillion, data from Refinitiv showed.

India’s Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani continues to be the wealthiest person in Asia, and 11th richest in the world, with a total net worth of $110 billion, according to Bloomberg’s index.

In January, Gautam Adani, founder and chairman of the Adani Group, overtook Ambani briefly, but he is now three spots behind with a net worth of $97.9 billion, Bloomberg data showed.