A report says a low-profile tycoon has rocketed up the ranks of China's wealthy after a hostile takeover he launched for the country's biggest property developer helped swell his fortunes.

The Hurun Report said Thursday that 46-year-old Yao Zhenhua's wealth surged ninefold to $17.2 billion, making him China's fourth richest person.

Yao is chairman of Baoneng Group, a real estate and financial services group based in the southern boomtown of Shenzhen.

He has made waves over the past year with his unsolicited bid for homebuilder China Vanke.

Property and entertainment mogul Wang Jianlin held on to top spot, with Hurun putting his wealth $32.1 billion.

Shanghai-based Hurun publishes a monthly magazine and releases yearly rankings and research about the world's richest people and their spending habits.