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China's Biggest Tech Players Lost More Than $80 Billion In 2021

It has, in general, been a rough year for Chinese e-commerce platforms.

Amid a deteriorating China-U.S. relationship and government crackdowns, the 10 richest tech magnates in China lost a lot of money in 2021.

According to an analysis done by Bloomberg Intelligence, the $80 billion in wealth lost by the country's tech elite is the biggest one-year loss since 2012. In total, over a quarter of their collective wealth was lost in large part due to the companies they run suffering staggering losses.

Colin Huang, who founded the Chinese e-commerce site Pinduoduo ( (PDD) - Get Pinduoduo Inc. Report), topped this list. In 2021, he lost two-thirds of his fortune — or roughly $42.9 billion — after Pinduoduo shares fell by nearly 70%.

It has, in general, been a rough year for Chinese e-commerce platforms. The Nasdaq Golden Dragon China Index of U.S.-listed Chinese stocks dropped by more than 46% in the last six months. 

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Companies like Pinduoduo and Alibaba ( (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Report) struggled not only with waning user interest after pandemic highs but also ongoing pressure from both Chinese and American authorities: just this week, the Chinese government ruled that foreign company ownership can’t exceed 30% while President Joseph Biden also passed an executive order barring trading of certain Chinese companies.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has largely been laying low in the string of recent crackdowns — at one point worth nearly $90 million, he lost about $13 billion of his wealth in the last year.

Cheng Wei, who founded the ride-sharing app Didi Global ( (DIDI) - Get DiDi Global Inc. Report), has had a particularly bad year. After a disastrous summer IPO that angered Chinese regulators, Didi Global shares fell by more than 60% and the company announced plans to delist from the U.S. market all within six months. 

While the company plans to try again in Hong Kong, Wei's wealth fell from $6.7 billion to $1.7 billion.