Mark Zuckerberg joins centibillionaire club after launch of TikTok rival

Zuckerberg’s fortune is largely derived from his 13 per cent stake in Facebook
Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth passed $100 billion for the first time Thursday after Facebook Inc. hit a record high on optimism about the release of its TikTok competitor Reels.

The 36-year-old joins fellow tech titans Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only people in the world who currently have centibillionaire status, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg’s fortune is largely derived from his 13 per cent stake in Facebook.

The founders of US’ biggest technology firms have enjoyed a large accumulation of wealth this year as the Covid pandemic drives more people online, despite the economy contracting at its fastest pace.

Zuckerberg has gained about $22 billion this year, while Bezos is up more than $75 billion.

The staggering numbers have put Big Tech under increased scrutiny, with Zuckerberg, Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Alphabet head Sundar Pichai testifying before Congress last month to defend allegations that their power and influence are out of control.

The five largest American tech companies — Apple, Amazon.com, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft — currently have market valuations equivalent to about 30 per cent of US gross domestic product, nearly double what they were at the end of 2018.

US Senator Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, plans to introduce legislation to tax what he called “obscene wealth gains” during the coronavirus crisis. The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” would tax 60 per cent of the increase in the ultra-wealthy’s net worth from March 18 through the end of the year.



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