Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal net worth surpassed $100 billion for first time on Thursday, after his social media company stock hit a record high on optimism about the release of its TikTok competitor Reels.
The 36-year-old social media boss thus became the world’s third centibillionaire, joining tech titans Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. They are the only people globally to hold the status, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg’s net worth is largely derived from his 13 percent stake in Facebook.
US tech moguls have seen their fortunes skyrocket this year. They are getting richer even faster as the pandemic drives more activity online.
The collective wealth of tech billionaires in Bloomberg’s index (a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people) has nearly doubled since 2016, from $751 billion to $1.4 trillion today. That is a faster rate than in every other sector.
Seven of the world’s 10 richest people are from the technology sector, with a combined net worth of $666 billion, up $147 billion this year.
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The five largest American tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft) have market valuations equivalent to about 30 percent of US gross domestic product. That’s almost double what it was at the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, US Senator Bernie Sanders plans to introduce legislation to tax what he called “obscene wealth gains” during the coronavirus crisis. The ‘Make Billionaires Pay Act’ would tax 60 percent of the increase in the oligarchs’ net worth from March 18 through the end of the year and use the revenue to cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses of all Americans.
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Zuckerberg, who founded the social media giant from his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, has said he plans to give away 99 percent of his Facebook shares over his lifetime.
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