The number of billionaires in China skyrocketed in only a year's time from 79 in 2009 to 128 in 2010, according to Forbes. The country has the second largest population of billionaires in the world; only the United States has more. Among this group of China's "new rich" are those who have made their money through tech ventures that range from social networks to on-demand video streaming. (This emerging market is making strides in regulation and disclosure. Check out Investing In China.)

IN PICTURES: How To Make Your First $1 Million

Victor Koo
The Stanford Business School and University of California at Berkeley graduate is the founder and CEO of Youku, an online video site that is a mix between Hulu and Youtube for the China market. In December 2010, the value of Youku soared to 3.3 billion on the New York Stock Exchange and continues to rise. The company is worth more than AOL which has a market cap of 2.5 billion.

Robin Li
By developing China's answer to Google, Li has doubled his wealth in the past two years. His Baidu search engine has deposited $3.5 billion in his bank account. The 41-year-old lives in Bejiing with his wife Melissa Ma, but he learned about the business of online search in Silicon Valley in the '90s as an engineer for Infoseek, one of the first internet search companies.

Chen Tianqiao
It pays to play for Tianqiao. As the founder of an online game company, the 37-year-old is a self-made billionaire with a net worth of $1.2 billion based on Forbes statistics. The firm, called Shanda Interactive, also produces and distributes movies. He earned a bachelor degree in economics from Fudan University in Shanghai, the same city in which he resides. Tianqiao landed a spot on Forbes' list of the World's Billionaires for the first time in 2010.

Shi Yuzhu
He's the leader for one of China's top online gaming sites now, but Yuzhu hasn't always been so fortunate. His first try in the gaming industry, a video game company called Zhuhai Giant Hi-Tech Group, found success in the early '90s, but was overtaken by massive debts. He got back on his feet in 2005 with ZTgame and now boasts a $1.6 billion fortune.

IN PICTURES: Retire A Millionaire In 10 Steps

Jack Ma
With his e-commerce website Alibaba, online auction service Taobao.com and operation duties for China's Yahoo! web portal, entrepreneur Ma has made a name for himself in the tech world. His company made an estimated $700 million in revenue in 2010. Ma has expanded his company to 22,000 employees in offices across Greater China, India, Japan, Korea, Europe and the United States since founding it in 1999. Business Week named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the web.

William Ding
In the early 2000s, Ding held the distinction of China's richest man when the value of stock in his internet portal Netease exploded. By 2010, he wasn't even in the top 10 of the country's wealthiest people. However, 38-year-old Ding still has a sizeable estimated net worth of $2.2 billion and is a successful online game developer. His company holds one of China's top 10 most downloaded game titles, and is the distributor of the World of Warcraft game series for mainland China. (FDI accounted for 30% of industrial output, 55% of trade and 11% of urban jobs in China in 2009. For more related reading, see Top 6 Factors That Drive Investment In China.)

Ma Huateng
Talk isn't always cheap. Just ask Huateng, CEO and founder, of a popular chat service in China called Tencent. The company has 500 million active users and has increased its profits 65% since 2009. His instant message platform, which integrates online gaming and e-commerce services, has earned him a net worth of $3.6 billion before the age of 40.

The Bottom Line
In a country that has made headlines for its government's internet censorship policies, it might come as a surprise that several of China's new billionaires are building wealth through companies that are based on internet services. They are not only creating innovative technology, but competing with and in some cases surpassing their American counterparts. (Find out how this invention contributed to the development and evolution of the U.S. economy. See From The Printing Press To The Internet.)

For the latest financial news, check out Water Cooler Finance: Conflicting Job Reports And A Facebook IPO.

Related Articles
  1. Tax Strategy

    Profit from Art with a Charitable Remainder Trust

    With a CRUT, art collectors can avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of art– while also leaving their favorite charity a legacy.
  2. Stock Analysis

    The Top 10 Small-Cap Stocks for 2016 (ATI, ARCB)

    Discover the top 10 small-cap stocks expected to grow in 2016, complete with summaries and growth outlooks for each company and its expected price target.
  3. Investing

    Don't Freak Out Over Black Swans; Be Prepared

    Could 2016 be a big year for black swans? Who knows? Here's what black swans are, how they can devastate the unprepared, and how the prepared can emerge unscathed.
  4. Markets

    Is It Time To Buy Emerging Markets? (EEM)

    The majority of emerging markets are dependent on natural resources, delaying a long-term recovery until commodity markets end historic downtrends.
  5. Stock Analysis

    Why the Bullish Are Turning Bearish

    Banks are reducing their targets for the S&P 500 for 2016. Here's why.
  6. Stock Analysis

    3 Risks Emerging Markets Debt Faces in 2016

    Learn about the major risks for emerging market debt in 2016. Discover how low interest rate policies by central banks fueled the growth of debt globally.
  7. Investing

    Why Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Latest Closures Matter Less Than You Think (WMT)

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc closed hundreds of stores in January 2016—a move which should reassure investors, not scare them away.
  8. Economics

    The History of Stock Exchanges

    Stock exchanges began with countries who sailed east in the 1600s, braving pirates and bad weather to find goods they could trade back home.
  9. Investing News

    What Does the Fire Monkey Mean for Your Portfolio?

    The Chinese new year this year corresponds to the monkey, a quick-witted, playful, tricky figure that means well but has a penchant for causing trouble.
  10. Investing News

    Brazil's Latest Export To China: Soccer Players

    Why are Brazilian soccer players moving to China?
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is after-hours trading? Am I able to trade at this time?

    After-hours trading (AHT) refers to the buying and selling of securities on major exchanges outside of specified regular ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is China a developed country?

    Despite having the world's second-largest economy and third-largest military, China is still, as of 2015, not classified ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Who decides if a financial security should be escheated?

    There is no one entity who "decides" to escheat assets. Rather, financial institutions are required to report inactive accounts ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How long do I need to keep income tax records?

    Keep all tax-related records for at least three years. For example, keep your 2015 tax return, filed in early 2016, at the ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is the Cayman Islands considered a tax haven?

    The Cayman Islands is one of the most well-known tax havens in the world. Unlike most countries, the Cayman Islands does ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why is Andorra considered a tax haven?

    Andorra is one of many locations around the globe considered a tax haven because of its relatively lenient tax laws. However, ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  2. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  3. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  4. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  5. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
Trading Center