Elon Musk reclaims title of world’s richest person

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, regained the title of world's richest person, surpassing the French luxury fashion powerhouse LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index’s figures Thursday.

Musk's wealth surged 40.3% this year to $192 billion, thanks to a 24% hike in shares of the electric carmaker in May.

In December 2022, the 51-year-old Musk had lost his title as "the world's richest person" to Arnault, 74, who is now ranked second in the index with a net wealth of $187 billion.

Musk owns nearly 14% of Tesla shares and over 40% of SpaceX, while Arnault owns about 60% of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos, 59, followed them with a fortune of $144 billion.

The surge in Musk's wealth follows his crucial visit to China which ended on Thursday.

His private jet took off from Shanghai's Hongqiao airport early this morning, heading for Austin, Texas, home to Tesla's global headquarters.

In China, the US billionaire met China's Foreign, Commerce and Industry Ministers to discuss Tesla's development, during his two-day visit.

Musk, who air dashed to Beijing on Tuesday for his first visit since 2020, also met a key battery supplier, Contemporary Amperex Technology, and visited the automaker's production plant in Shanghai during his visit.

The visit follows increasing competition Tesla is currently facing from China-made electric vehicles, and some reported uncertainty about expansion plans for his corporation's Shanghai plant.

Jin Zhuanglong, China’s industry ministry and Musk "exchanged views on the development of new energy vehicles and intelligent networked vehicles," the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on its website.

He also discussed Tesla's development in China and "intelligent networked" vehicles, with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.

Musk, who visited China after a three-year hiatus, largely remained away from the media spotlight, except for a few photo sessions and official statements about his meetings with Chinese ministers.

So much so, the owner of the social media platform, Twitter, access to which is blocked in China, has not made any public statement about his meetings with Chinese officials yet.

Photos of his visit to his corporation's Shanghai plant late Wednesday showed him holding up a "Giga Shanghai" sign, together with hundreds of staff including the head of global manufacturing Tom Zhu.

Pictures were posted by Tesla's China-based public affairs chief Grace Tao on social media with the caption, "A very rewarding day!"

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt