Mark Zuckerberg

The coronavirus pandemic hit the world economy hard but Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook has seen his net worth skyrocket surpassed US$100 billion.

Zuckerberg’s net worth passed US$100 billion (RM410 billion) for the first time on Thursday after Facebook hit a record high on optimism about the release of its TikTok competitor Reels.

The 36-year-old, however, 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 percent stake in Facebook.

The founders of America’s largest technology companies have enjoyed a mind-boggling accumulation of wealth this year as the coronavirus pandemic drives more people online, despite the US economy contracting at its fastest pace on record.

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

The staggering numbers have put Big Tech under increased scrutiny, with Zuckerberg, Bezos, Apple chief executive officer 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, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft – currently have market valuations equivalent to about 30 percent of US gross domestic product, nearly double what they were at the end of 2018.

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