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Tech bosses hoarded more wealth than ever before during the pandemic

The 2021 edition of Forbes' billionaires list puts the unwieldy wealth of the tech world on full display.

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Forbes has released the 35th annual edition of its “Billionaires List,” and the data confirms what we already knew: the leaders of the tech sector are flying higher than ever. Overall, the world added 493 new billionaires last year, the vast majority of whom are from China and Hong Kong.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to financial ruin for the vast majority of the world. Unless, of course, you started out rich, or you owned a business that profited off the suffering of others.

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$13.1T

Combined wealth of the world's billionaires — up $5T from last year.

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#1: Jeff Bezos

This year’s richest man is exactly who you’d think it would be. The Amazon CEO weathers every scandal without his bank account so much as breaking a sweat.

This is the fourth year in a row that Bezos has secured the number-one spot on Forbes’ list. That could change next year, as he steps back from leading Amazon.

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$177B

Jeff Bezos' net worth, up $64B since last year.

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#2: Elon Musk

The Tesla CEO’s wealth absolutely skyrocketed in 2020 along with the success of his company. He even came close to de-throning Bezos for the number-one spot this year.

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$151B

Elon Musk's net worth, up $126B from last year.

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#3: Bernard Arnault (and family)

You might not know his name, but you definitely know his brands. Arnault leads LVMH (Moët Hennessy — Louis Vuitton), which owns enormous companies like Tiffany and, as you might expect, Louis Vuitton.

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$150B

Bernard Arnault's net worth, up $74B from 2020.

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#4: Bill Gates

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and leader of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been one of the world’s richest people for a long time. Gates has been a vocal advocate for COVID-19 preventative measures

He actually dropped a few places on Forbes’ list this year.

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$124B

Bill Gates' net worth, up $26B from 2020.

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#5: Mark Zuckerberg

As the supreme leader of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is one of the most powerful men on the internet. 2020 wasn’t kind to Facebook’s reputation, but the company still raked in mega bucks.

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$97B

Mark Zuckerberg's net worth, up $42B since 2020.

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The rest of this year’s list includes plenty of other notable figures, too.

Like Larry Ellison, cofounder of software giant Oracle, which may or may not be co-owning TikTok’s U.S. operations in the future. He comes in at the 7th spot with $93B.

Spots 8 and 9 go to Google bigwigs. Larry Page, who led Google parent company Alphabet until December 2019, is worth $91.5B this year.

Sergey Brin, past president of Alphabet ended up at number 9 this year, with a net worth of $89B. Both Page and Brin are still majority shareholders and sit on the company’s board.

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