The China Post staff
Tsai Hon-tu, son of the late Lin Yuan Group founder Tsai Wan-lin, continues to be the wealthiest man in Taiwan, according to the latest survey of world billionaires by Forbes Magazine. Tsai joins seven other Taiwanese people on the list of 946 billionaires surveyed by Forbes. Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corp., continues to top the list with net worth of US$56 billion. A total of 160 billionaires from Asia made the list, including 20 from mainland China and 21 from Hong Kong.
The 21 included real estate developer Li Ka-shing, whose net worth of US$23 billion put him on No. 9 — the second time he made the top ten. Japan, which used to be the Asian nation with the most billionaires on the list, this year only has 24, less than the 36 from India. Here in Taiwan, Tsai Hon-tu again took the leading spot with a world ranking of No. 104 and net worth of US$7 billion. His father, Tsai Wan-lin, who along with his brothers founded the Cathay banking conglomerate, had been the richest in Taiwan for years. Seven other Taiwanese billionaires are also included in the survey. They are, by world ranking and net worth: Terry Gou of Hon Hai, No. 142, US$5.5 billion; Wang Yung-ching of Formosa Plastics, No. 157, US$5.1 billion; Tsai Wan-tsai of Fubon, No. 287, US$3 billion; Barry Lam of Quanta Computer, No. 458, US$2.1 billion; Douglas Hsu of the Far Eastern Group, No. 664, US$1.5 billion; Gary Wang of Eastern Multimedia, No. 891, US$1 billion; and Tsai Yen-ming, who shares the No. 891 spot, US$1 billion. Of note, Gary Wang is the son of Rebar founder and fugitive Wang You-theng, for whom Taipei prosecutors are seeking a 30-year term. The senior Wang’s embezzlement of funds has caused two Rebar firms, China Rebar and Chia Hsin Food and Synthetic Fiber, to file for bankruptcy protection. With Gary Wang being listed as one of the richest men in the world, Chang Hwa Bank, which lent money to China Rebar and Chia Hsin, is urging Wang, a guarantor in the loan, to pay the NT$500 million owed by both firms as soon as possible.