Facebook founder sees $ 100 billion in wealth after launching rival TikTok

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saw his personal wealth increase to $ 100 billion (£ 76 billion) after the launch of a new shortened video feature.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced the US rollout of Instagram Reels, its rival to the controversial Chinese app TikTok.

Facebook shares rose more than 6% on Thursday. Mr. Zuckerberg owns a 13% stake in the company.

He joins Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates in the exclusive so-called “Centibillionaire Club”.

Technology leaders have been in the spotlight recently as the size and power of their companies and their personal fortunes continue to grow.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google have been among the biggest benefactors of coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions as more people shop, watch entertainment and socialize online.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal wealth has gained around $ 22 billion this year, while Mr. Bezos’ has grown by more than $ 75 billion, according to Bloomberg.


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Media captionWATCH: Instagram deploys rival TikTok Reels

TikTok Executive Order

The short video feature Reels, which is seen as a rival to the controversial Chinese-owned TikTok platform, works in the Facebook-owned Instagram photo-sharing app.

The launch could not have come at a better time for Mr. Zuckerberg because on Thursday evening Donald Trump issued an executive order to deal with what the US president has called the TikTok “threat” to the United States.

So-called tech titans, including Mr Zuckerberg, have come under increased scrutiny by US and EU lawmakers over claims that their power and influence is out of hand.

America’s top five tech companies, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Microsoft, currently have market valuations equivalent to around 30% of US gross domestic product (GDP).

Wealth tax

US Senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders this week unveiled a plan to tax what he called “obscene wealth gains” made by billionaires during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Make Billionaires Pay Act would tax 60% of the increase in a billionaire’s net worth from the start of the pandemic until the end of the year.

Mr. Sanders proposes that the tax revenues earned be spent on health care costs borne by Americans.

Mr Zuckerberg previously said he plans to donate 99% of his Facebook shares in his lifetime through the charitable foundation he created with his wife Priscilla Chan.

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