Nearly four decades ago, Deng Xiaoping is credited with declaring “to get rich is glorious,” and now Beijing is the most glorious city of them all.
China’s capital is home to 94 billionaires, six less than last year, but still enough to be named the “billionaire capital of the world” for the second straight year in the Hurun Global Rich List released on Tuesday.
After placing 5th on the list last year, Shanghai ranks 6th this year with 53 billionaires. It was surpassed by Shenzhen which added 16 billionaires this year, bringing its total up to 62, trailing just behind its rival across the border, Hong Kong. Here’s the full top 10 list:
2) New York City
3) Hong Kong
In total, “Greater China” is home to 609 billionaires, adding 41 more this year, placing it ahead of the United States which has a mere 552 billionaires. The combined net worth of Chinese billionaires is $1.6 trillion, or 2.1% of global GDP. Their average age is a comparatively youthful 58. The largest number of Chinese billionares made their fortunes in real estate at 120, followed by manufacturing at 115 and technology at 78.
Meanwhile, China is the best in the world at generating self-made billionaires like SF Express founder Wang Wei who started as a humble delivery man in the 1990s and is now the third richest man in China worth $27 billion. It’s also the best place to be for female entrepreneurs with a record 152 self-made female billionaires including “Beijing real estate queen” Chen Lihua who is worth $7.2 billion.
With China’s annual legislative meetings now in session, there’s even more billionaires in Beijing than usual. China’s rubber-stamp parliament includes around 100 billionaires. The richest 209 delegates are all worth more than $300 million, meaning that their combined wealth is equal to the annual GDPs of Belgium and Sweden.
While business is mostly going great for those at the top, that’s certainly not the case for everyone. Last year, a report from Peking University warned that China had reached a dangerous level of income inequality that bodes ill for the country’s social stability with the elite 1% of society owning a third of Chinese wealth.
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