The Middle Kingdom has spawned 90% of all the new billionaires in the world, according to the Hurun Report’s new Global Rich List. Quite a few of those are here in Shanghai.
Last year saw a record number of billionaires at 2,188 globally, 568 of which hail from the mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The world’s billionaires grew even richer by 9%, adding up to a combined net worth of US$7.3 trillion, 1.4 trillion of which belongs to its Chinese faction as of January 15.
Indeed, Hurun’s top 10 billionaire capitals is littered with Chinese cities: Hong Kong at #4, Shanghai at #5, Shenzhen at #7, Hangzhou at #9, and of course Beijing, now the billionaire capital of the world with 32 newbies raising the total to 100, surpassing New York City.
Real estate was responsible for the majority of Chinese billionaires at 117, followed by manufacturing at 94 and technology at 68.
China also boasts the largest number of billionaires under 40, with a total of 28, as well as the world’s largest number of self-made billionaire women, 93 out of 124 globally.
Wang Jianlin remains China’s richest man and #21 globally, with a net worth of US$26 billion. Falling 7 places to #23 is Hong Kong property boss Li Ka-shing, formerly Asia’s richest man, who is nonetheless still doing alright for himself with US$25 billion. Fellow Hong Kong property bigwig Lee Shau-kee follows not too far behind at #27, while Alibaba’s Jack Ma dropped a couple places to #36.
Other Chinese moguls appearing in the top 100 include the heads behind Xiaomi, Tencent and Baidu.
Here’s what Hurun chairman Rupert Hoogewerf had to say about China’s apparent slayage:
Despite its own slowdown and falling stockmarkets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings.
Growth in billionaires for the rest of the world was held back by a slowdown in the global economy, the strengthening of the US dollar and the drop in oil prices.
What we showed today is that at the super-wealth creation level, the Chinese are now leading. People will look at China the same way that people looked at Stanford or Silicon Valley in the 1990s.
And apparently the institute’s calculations may even be short. “For every billionaire that Hurun Report has found, I estimate we have missed at least two,” Hoogewerf admitted. “Some people deliberately make their wealth a secret because … they gained it through illegal ways. Some others simply prefer to keep a low profile.”
On top of that, the Hurun calculations took into account the stock market crash, meaning that China’s number of new billionaires is less than the 150 they should have had during the market’s peak last year, reports BigStory.
Incidentally, Hurun’s numbers are less than their previous projections and also mysteriously inconsistent with Forbes’ own list of 2015, which placed China significantly behind the US in number of billionaires, but no comment has emerged from Hurun. According to Hoogewerf, China actually surpassed the US as of last August.