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Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg became a centibillionaire on Thursday, after his fortune passed $100bn (£76bn) for the first time.
Mr Zuckerberg’s net worth increased on Thursday, after he announced the day prior that Facebook will be launching video-sharing app Instagram Reels, which the company hopes will rival TikTok.
The 36-year-old has a 13 per cent stake of the company, and his net worth passed $100bn, as Facebook’s shares rose six per cent after the announcement of the US roll-out of the new app.
Mr Zuckerberg joins Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the only people in the world to be centibillionaires, which the Bloomberg Billionaires Index defines as having a net worth of more than $100bn.
The launch of Instagram Reels came a day before president Donald Trump announced that he had signed an executive order to deal with the “threat” of TikTok, which will ban US companies from transacting with its parent company ByteDance when it comes into effect later in 2020.
Despite launching a rival app earlier this week, Mr Zuckerberg said during a Facebook meeting on Thursday that he is concerned by a potential ban of TikTok, according to Buzzfeed.
“I just think it’s a really bad long-term precedent, and that it needs to be handled with the utmost care and gravity whatever the solution is,” he said.
“I am really worried … it could very well have long-term consequences in other countries around the world,” Mr Zuckerberg added.
Facebook is currently banned in China, where ByteDance is based, alongside Google and other apps created by technology companies in the US.
The social media site, alongside Amazon and Google, have all seen a rise in users during the coronavirus pandemic, as people have had to work from home and minimise time outdoors.
The companies have also benefited financially, and Bloomberg reported that Mr Zuckerberg’s personal net worth has risen by $22bn (£16bn) so far in 2020, while Mr Bezos’ has increased by $75bn (£57bn).
In order to make use of the extra revenue gained during the pandemic, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill in the Senate on Thursday to tax what he described as “obscene wealth gains” made by billionaires in the last few months.
Mr Sanders’ proposal, the Make Billionaires Pay Act, would tax 60 per cent of the increase in a billionaire’s net worth from the start of the pandemic until the end of 2020.
The senator suggested that the money made from the tax would go into funding healthcare for American citizens affected by the pandemic.