Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin has been dethroned as China's richest man by real estate developer Hui Ka Yan, who gained $30 billion over the past year to reach $43 billion.
Hui owns more than 70% of Evergrande. The company's shares have soared, gaining more than 450% since the beginning of 2017, the institute said.
Wang, who topped China's Hurun Rich List 2016 with a fortune of $32 billion, fell to fifth place as his wealth shrunk 28% to $23 billion, according to HRI.
Pony Ma of Tencent took second place with a fortune of $37 billion, surpassing Jack Ma. The Alibaba founder held the second spot in 2016, but moved to third place in 2017 after reducing his stake in Ant Financial, an Alibaba subsidiary. That move cost him, according to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher.
"Had Jack Ma kept his 35%, he would have been China’s Number One," Hoogewerf said in a statement.
Overall, China's super rich have doubled over the past five years, with more than 2,000 people having $300 million, according to Hoogewerf.