Forbes has released its list of richest families in Asia and, surprisingly enough, the family behind the well-known tech giant Samsung – namely the Lee Kun-hee family – only managed to take second this year despite taking first last year. The Reliance Group, owned by the Ambani family of India, took the top spot with a total of $44.8 billion in assets. Meanwhile, the rankings, which only take under considerations families owning a business over the course of more than three generations, placed Samsung's Lee Kun-hee family from South Korea at $4 billion short of that mark – landing at $40.8 billion.
The Lee Kun-hee family had held the top spot since the list's first inception in 2015. That's hardly surprising, with consideration for the noteworthy standing of Samsung as both a mobile device and chipset manufacturer. In fact, Samsung has also moved into the top spot as the world's most profitable smartphone manufacturer, thanks largely to its chipset division – which is also an area where the company managed to surpass Intel earlier this year. The family behind Samsung was also the only mobile-specific company from the region to make the top ten of the list. Falling much later in the list of most wealthy families owning businesses in Asia, at 28th, is the Koo family behind LG. That company only managed around $8.7 billion.
Of the 40 families included in the list, four originate from both South Korea and Indonesia. The largest group resides in India, with no fewer than 18 families hailing from the region. Rounding out the figures, nine originate from Hong Kong, while five are based out of Singapore. Interestingly though, Forbes has also indicated that this list may not be entirely accurate due to the time constraints on whether or not a family qualifies to make the list. In fact, nearly a full half of Asia's most wealthy families are based in China but aren't included because they are only run by either first or second-generation family members. That could point to an even bigger shakeup of the list over the next couple of years if those companies remain well-managed enough to make it to third-generation family ownership.