$21.3 billion, Age: 81, His Cheung Kong paid $100 million for shares in Russian aluminum maker Rusal ahead of its January Hong Kong listing; his Hutchison Whampoa offered $545 million to take its telecom subsidiary private. Li's been buying up shares in both firms. Oil firm Husky Energy, in which he has big stake, made another big gas discovery in the South China Sea in 2009.
2 Lee Shau Kee
$19 billion Age: 82 Lee's wealth rebounded, thanks in part to doubling share price of his property firm, Henderson Land. Active investor with stakes in such outperfomers as China Shenhua Energy. Chairman of Hong Kong & China Gas, which distributes gas in more than 90 cities.
3 Kwok family
$17 billion Walter, who ran family's property firm SHKP for 18 years before being replaced by his 2 younger brothers, Thomas and Raymond, in 2008, dropped his lawsuit alleging improper dismissal last year and is now a nonexecutive director. Mother, Kwong Siu-hing, is nonexecutive chairman. Firm is finishing construction of Hong Kong's tallest building, the International Commerce Center. Opened replica of Noah's Ark in Hong Kong in May as tourist attraction.
4 Cheng Yu-tung
$7 billion Age: 84 His New World Development, which launched a Facebook page in December, reportedly hired bankers for upcoming debt road show. Cheng's personal investment firm bought stakes in Ming Fung Jewelry, New Times Energy, property firm Evergrande.
5 Joseph Lau
$6 billion Age: 59 One of Hong Kong's biggest landlords kept occupancy rates above 90% at his Chinese Estates despite downturn. Launched first development in Chengdu. Spent $9.5 million for a 7.03-carat blue diamond, which he renamed "Star of Josephine" after youngest daughter.
6 Michael Kadoorie
$5 billion Age: 68 Power generator CLP is still core of Kadoorie's wealth, but Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels generated some of best returns last year. Opened the Peninsula in Shanghai, the city where family got its start before leaving in wake of Communist revolution. Took control of the Peninsula in Chicago.
7 Peter Woo
$4.2 billion Age: 64 Wheelock, whose main subsidiary, the Wharf (portfolio includes Hong Kong's Times Square, Harbour City), rebounded along with real estate sector. Group is close to finishing one of Shanghai's tallest structures in prestigious Jing'an district. Its I-Cable is bidding for free-to-air broadcast license, city's third.
8 Chen Din Hwa
$3.2 billion Age: 87 His Nan Fung Group first made money in textiles; it is now a property developer, with interests also in shipping. Partnering with HSBC to invest in property in China; the 2 recently formed venture with U.K's Tesco to invest in malls. Chen owns minority stake in Sino Land.
9 William Fung
$3 billion Age: 60 Outsourcing giant Li & Fung, founded by his grandfather, just signed an agreement to act as a buying agent for Walmart. Last year picked up Liz Clairborne's sourcing operations in Asia, became exclusive sourcing agent for Talbots; bought children's apparel maker Wear Me, footwear supplier Shubiz. William, who was named to Singapore Airlines board in January, is managing director; brother Victor, a U.S. citizen, is chairman. Possible successor: Victor's son Spencer, an executive director. Brothers own stakes in newly public luxury menswear retailer Trinity.
10 Victor Fung
$2.9 billion Age: 63 Outsourcing giant Li & Fung, founded by his grandfather, just signed an agreement to act as a buying agent for Walmart. Last year picked up Liz Clairborne's sourcing operations in Asia, became exclusive sourcing agent for Talbots; bought children's apparel maker Wear Me, footwear supplier Shubiz. Victor, a U.S. citizen, is chairman. Brother William is managing director Possible successor: Victor's son Spencer, an executive director. Brothers own stakes in newly public luxury menswear retailer Trinity.