Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has been named as one of the 50 most influential people in the world by Bloomberg Markets, joining the likes of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Pope Francis.
Lai, ranked at No. 40 on the list, is the only Hongkonger to be featured. “The pro-democracy tycoon is the founder of Next Media, the loudest voice of anti-Beijing protest in Hong Kong. Lai was on the front line during last year’s street protests, braving tear gas and pepper spray,” Bloomberg Markets said on its website.
Heading the list, compiled by the elite financial news service, is Janet Yellen, head of the US Federal Reserve. Chinese President Xi Jinping is at No. 2, beating his American counterpart Barack Obama, who is at No. 6.
The world is watching to see if Xi and his Communist Party “still have the right touch to run the second-biggest economy” following a stock market crisis, Bloomberg Markets said.
Besides Xi, four other people from mainland China have made the list. The country’s top graft fighter Wang Qishan, ranked No. 33, is hailed as a “key behind-the-scenes player in the effort to stabilise the economy and the stock market.”
China’s richest man Wang Jianlin is No. 37 on the list.
Banker Fan Bao, who heads private investment bank China Renaissance, is one of the notable new faces to feature, while other more renowned Chinese businessmen such as Alibaba’s Jack Ma were shunned.
“The fast-talking Bao has the guanxi to arrange practically anything in China’s vibrant tech scene, such as the US$6 billion merger of taxi app giants Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, China’s biggest Internet M&M deal of 2015.” Bloomberg commented.
Bloomberg Markets said it “favoured recent accomplishments over lifetime achievements” in selecting the candidates.
Jiang Jianqing, who heads the world’s largest lender Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), is No. 39 on the list.
Other names on the list include: Apple CEO Tim Cook, No. 3; German Chancellor Angela Merkel, No. 9; Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, No. 13; and Pope Francis, No. 31.