By Michael Ardaiolo
Photo by China Daily
The 2010 national Chinese census put Shanghai’s population at just over 23 million people. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of 1.92 trillion yuan in 2011, the rough average of a typical Shanghai citizen’s yearly income should be in the area of 80,000 yuan. What does it mean to be rich in the “Paris of the East” then? China Daily took it a step further on Saturday and exposed the short-list of “super-rich” Shanghai citizens.
Defining “super-rich” as a person who holds assets worth at least 100 million yuan, China Daily estimates there are 8,200 of these individuals currently residing in Shanghai. 75% of these ballers are business owners. The other 25% are made up of investors, most of which put their money in real estate.
If you want to dig deeper into the numbers, the Shanghai Wealth Report 2012 was published on Friday by Hurun Report and the Australia-based independent financial adviser Gao Fu Wealth Management.
The super-rich club of Shanghai is only the third largest in China though. Beijing holds the pole position, while Shenzhen is second.
Holding the super-rich throne in 2012 is Liu Yongxing, who China Daily lovingly describes as the “pig-feed king.” He chairs the East Hope Company, China’s biggest animal-feed producer and one of the country’s largest non-governmental companies.
Not far behind is Zhou Chengjian, a former tailor who owns 90% of Shanghai Metersbonwe Fashion & Accessories.
If this leads to speculation about the level of inequality in the city, it will be much tougher to reveal relevant statistics. China has refused to make their Gini coefficient, the standard measure of income inequality used around the world, public since 2000. Until then, most of us will be left staring upwards at the top earners with little idea of just how good our chances are of joining their club.