The world's richest people have just gotten a whole lot richer over the past two months despite the general global economic slump. According to a report from Forbes, 25 people on its world's billionaires list just increased their fortunes by a combined $255 billion since the global pandemic hit the US in March.
The 25 people, whose fortunes are mostly tied to public stocks, are worth a combined $1.5 trillion, or roughly 16 percent of the entire wealth held by the people on Forbes' entire list.
The largest gainer is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose fortune surged by more than 60 percent over the past two months. The gain was mostly attributed to the positive response to Facebook's strategies during the pandemic, which included the launch of its new business e-commerce platform, Facebook Shops.
Zuckerberg's net worth shot up to $86.5 billion, making him the fourth-richest person in the world. Prior to the surge, Zuckerberg was ranked as the 7th richest person on Forbes' 2020 billionaires list. The 36-year old managed to overtake the likes of Warren Buffet and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.
The second-largest gainer during the two-month period is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who extended his lead as the world's richest man. Bezos' net worth surged upward by more than 26 percent or roughly $30 billion to $146.9 billion since March. The increase in his net worth can mostly be attributed to the continued climb in Amazon's stock prices, which have surged by more than 29 percent since March. Amid the continued shelter-in-place orders and lockdowns, usage of its e-commerce platform skyrocketed as consumers could no longer visit brick-and-mortar outlets.
In terms of percentage gain, the largest gainer for the two month period was Pinduoduo founder Colin Zheng Huang. Similar to Amazon's situation, the usage of China's second-largest e-commerce platform behind Alibaba skyrocketed since the start of the year. Through its unique social shopping model and aggressive marketing campaign, Pinduoduo was able to increase its user base and online activity exponentially over the past couple of months.
Since the start of the year, Pinduoduo's share prices have nearly doubled in value, adding an additional $17.9 billion to Huang's fortune, making him China's third-richest person with a net worth of around $35.6 billion.
Other gainers of note in Forbes' list include Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani, who increased his fortune to around $52.7 billion. Asia's richest person increased his wealth by more than $20 billion since March, mainly through the aggressive expansion of his business empire and the continued foreign investments in his businesses. The gainers on Forbes' list are mostly those whose fortunes are tied to major tech companies.