Forbes’ recently unveiled World’s Billionaire list for 2022 revealed that a record-number 92 American billionaires are immigrants.
Topping the list and leapfrogging the wealthiest man for the past four years — Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — is the South African-born head of Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, Elon Musk.
Out of the top eight countries that have produced the most billionaires, three of them are in Asia, with China and India tied for third with seven billionaires each and Taiwan in eighth with four.
A substantial number of immigrant billionaires accumulated their fortunes in technology, with five out of the seven Indian billionaires delving into venture capitalism or heading tech giants, and 41 out of the 92 total billionaire immigrants influencing the tech industry in some way or another.
Many of those listed are responsible for the companies behind some of today’s most popular products and services, including Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan, DoorDash co-founder and CEO Tony Xu and Panda Express co-founders Andrew and Peggy Cherng.
Yuan’s success can be attributed to remarkable resilience, as he braved language barriers and immigration customs to join the Silicon Valley tech boom at the dawn of the 21st century.
“I told myself, okay, great. I’ll do all I can until you tell me that I can never come here anymore. Otherwise, I’m not going to stop,” Yuan told Forbes.
For Xu, his career is a tribute to the pioneering spirit and sacrifices of his mother, who abandoned her medical career in China to move to the U.S.
“DoorDash exists today to empower those like my Mom who came here with a dream to make it on their own,” Xu wrote in 2020. “Fighting for the underdog is part of who I am and what we stand for as a company.”
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