"Not only does China have more billionaires than ever, its richest have bigger fortunes … Chinese billionaires now account for nearly a fifth of the total wealth of the list," Forbes said Tuesday after it published the annual world's billionaires list.
The world's second largest economy is home to the second highest number of billionaires, with 698, next only to the U.S. and well over India's 140. China had 456 billionaires last year.
There are a record-setting 493 newcomers to the list with an average age of 54, including 210 from China and 98 from the U.S.
"A full 84 percent of them are self-made billionaires, who founded their companies rather than inherited them," Forbes said.
China's three richest billionaires – Zhong Shanshan, Ma Huateng and Huang Zheng – made it into the top 25, taking the 13th, 15th and 21st positions, respectively.
Nongfu Spring's Zhong Shanshan acted as the biggest gainer in net worth in percentage terms, skyrocketing 3,345 percent from a year earlier to reach $68.9 billion.
The billionaire rocketed into the No. 13 spot following his bottled-water firm's massive listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Jack Ma was dethroned as Asia's richest person by Mukesh Ambani of India and dropped to the No. 26 spot despite a nearly $10 billion ascent in his fortune to $48.4 billion.
Globally, Jeff Bezos topped the list for the fourth year running, while Tesla's Elon Musk jumped into second spot on the list, up from 31st last year.
Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg round out the top five of the world's richest billionaires.
Investor and business tycoon Warren Buffett fell out of the top five for the first time in over two decades, as tech executives dominate the Forbes rankings.
The ranks of the ultra-wealthy are expanding after a year in which the coronavirus pandemic upended world economies and threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe.
This year's billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion last year, Forbes said.