TAIPEI — Taiwanese tycoon Tsai Eng-meng topped the island's richest list for the first time boosted by his booming China-based business, Forbes magazine said.
Tsai, chairman of food company Want Want China Holdings, saw his net worth rise to an estimated $8 billion from $6.1 billion last year, when he ranked third on the Forbes Taiwan Rich List, Forbes said on Thursday.
His company, which is known for its snacks, rice crackers, dairy products and juice produced revenues of $2.9 billion in the latest fiscal year, the report said.
Tsai is among several tycoons among the top ten who have made their fortunes in China, where Taiwan invested $13.1 billion last year in financing, according to the island's investment commission, as well as crucial technological know-how.
Claiming the number two spot is Wei Ing-chou and his three brothers, who own the Hong Kong-listed Tingyi Holding that controls much of China's beverage market. Their wealth was estimated at $6.6 billion.
Technology tycoon Terry Gou, head of China-based Foxconn group that makes electronic gadgets for Apple and other leading brands, ranked fourth this year with an estimated net worth of $4.8 billion.
Number seven Samuel Yin saw his wealth more than double to $3.1 billion since the July 2011 Hong Kong listing of his hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group in China, which he partners with France's Auchan Group.
Tsai, whose business interests also include real estate, insurance, financial services and the media, overtook last year's number one Cher Wang, chairwoman of the smartphone company HTC.
Wang and husband Chen Wen-chi fell to number eight this year as their wealth shrank by nearly two-thirds to $3.05 billion as HTC struggled against rivals Apple and Samsung.
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