Chinese Ultra-Rich Increase, Some Escape to Hong Kong

Real estate raises billions, but a credit crunch and clampdown on luxury spending drives millionaires away from the mainland

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Tomohiro Ohsumi / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Billionaire Wang Jianlin, chairman and president of Dalian Wanda Group, poses for a portrait at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Of The New Champions in Dalian, China, on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.

Property developer Wang Jianlin pushed beverage mogul Zong Qinghou into second place of the annual ranking of China’s wealthiest people, after doubling his personal fortune to $22 billion.

The Hurun Report, as China’s rich list is called, said that the number of Chinese worth at least $1 billion has now reached 315 — up from none in 2003. According to the annual survey’s chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewarf, “strong performances in real estate and IT” is why new records are being set by China’s ultra-rich.

Meanwhile, a separate report from private-wealth consulting firms Wealth-X and UBS AG claims that the number of Chinese with a net worth of over $30 million dropped over the past year. “Slower GDP growth, a credit crunch and a clampdown on luxury spending to combat corruption in the country” is cited in the report as behind many Chinese millionaires  moving from the mainland to Hong Kong.