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Mark Zuckerberg reaches centibillionaire status

As the social media titan’s wealth surpasses $100bn.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook. Image: Bloomberg

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% 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. 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 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.com, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft — currently have market valuations equivalent to about 30% 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% of the increase in the ultra-wealthy’s net worth from March 18 through the end of the year and use the revenue to cover out-of-pocket health-care expenses of all Americans.

Zuckerberg, who founded the social media giant from his Harvard University dorm room in 2004, has said he plans to give away 99% of his Facebook shares over his lifetime.

Even overseas, tech giants are among the top gainers this year. Tencent Holdings CEO Pony Ma has added $17 billion, taking his fortune to more than $55 billion, while the wealth of Pinduoduo’s Colin Huang has gained $13 billion to $32 billion. India’s Mukesh Ambani has become $22 billion richer as the digital unit of his Reliance Industries got investments from firms including Facebook and Silver Lake. He’s now worth $80.3 billion.

© 2020 Bloomberg

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Why is it that governments around the world seek to punish successful entrepreneurs, who through creative thought, hard work and much risk, turned nothing into something substantial- that contributes to substantial increases in job creation, tax revenue and In some cases, life changing services. Government, seems to be of the opinion that $1 in their pocket would be more productive that the same $1 in the pocket of the entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs should be encouraged to continue creating innovative services, create jobs and make investments (Social and Business) to help make a nation more prosperous- which in turn will drag the less energetic up.

I disagree with the implementation in the article, but I agree that the wealthy (and by extension their companies) should pay their fair share of tax. Poorer people without the benefit of pricey accountants do not have a zero tax rate, I am looking especially at you here Amazon. If you profit from doing business in a country you should be taxed in that country.

This is what happens when a country does not steal from its youth! The youth drives it forward, making it’s economy a world-class competitor! In South Africa you can only dream of a 36 year old worth $100bn, even in rands. Anyways, the US Government is just concerned that the power to control society may no longer be in their hands.
It has nothing to do with tax revenue.

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