Oct 17

China Watch Blog has learnt China’s 400 richest people became US$150 billion wealthier this year, Forbes magazine said Wednesday, despite a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy.

The vast increase – an average of almost $400 million each – highlights the growing inequality between the superrich and the millions who still live in poverty.

“The rich are getting richer,” Forbes Shanghai bureau chief Russell Flannery told a news conference as the magazine unveiled its annual China rich list.

Wang Jianlin, head of property giant Wanda Group and buyer of US cinema chain AMC Entertainment, topped the list with a net worth of $14.1 billion.

Last year’s leader, beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou, slipped to second place in the Forbes list, even though his wealth increased 12 percent to $11.2 billion.

Robin Li, founder of China’s homegrown search engine Baidu, dropped to third but his wealth jumped 37 percent from last year to $11.1 billion.

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Aug 27

China Watch Blog reports that Shenzhen has more millionaires than any other city in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, according to the 2013 Hurun Rich List released Friday.

NewsGD.com reported that it’s the first time that Hurun Research Institute has compiled a list of the richest individuals in the PRD. A total of 152 people made the list, with 73 residing in Shenzhen and 40 in Guangzhou.

Of the 73 richest people living in Shenzhen, 22 were among the world’s 500 richest individuals, according to Hurun, which also revealed that there were 8,000 people in the PRD with personal wealth of 100 million yuan (US$16 million) and 130,000 people with personal wealth of 10 million yuan.

Xu Jiayin, owner of Evergrande Real Estate, topped the PRD rich list with a personal fortune of 48 billion yuan. Xu was followed by Ma Huateng of Tencent, a leading Internet company, with 47 billion yuan; and by the family of Yang Huiyan, with 43 billion yuan. The Yang family owns Country Gardens, a real estate development.

The wealthiest people in the PRD amassed their wealth mainly from the real estate industry (24 percent), manufacturing industry (15 percent) and IT industry (9 percent). Other industries that contributed to local personal fortunes were social services, retail, finance and investment, resources and pharmaceutical.

The richest people on the annual national list made their fortune mainly from the manufacturing industry (21 percent) and real estate industry (20 percent).

On the global list, the 1,453 richest people in the world were mainly engaged in the industries of real estate, telecom, media, technology and investment.

On the 2013 Hurun Philanthropy List, released by the Hurun Research Institute in April, Guangdong Province boasted the largest number of the most-generous Chinese individuals, measured by the value of their cash or cash-equivalent donations.

“This might have something to do with people’s spiritual pursuits and lifestyles in Guangdong. Most rich people in the province made their fortune much earlier and have learned to be grateful,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.

Guangdong’s PRD also boasted the largest number of the wealthiest females in the country.

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Jun 21

China Watch Blog has learnt that an increasing number of China’s rich are snapping up properties overseas in the expectation that domestic inflation will continue to rise after the consumer price index reached a 34-month high in May.

According to Colliers International, a real estate service provider, the proportion of Chinese buyers in Vancouver’s property market is on the rise. At the end of the first quarter this year, it increased to 29 percent of all homebuyers.

In the past six months, Chinese spent 1.3 billion yuan ($200 million) through Colliers’ international property department, with Canada, the UK and Australia topping the buying list.

“We are expecting a clear increase in the extent of mainland buyers’ purchases of overseas properties this year because of the government’s rigorous restraint on the number of homes a family can buy in key cities,” said Alan Liu, managing director of Colliers International (North Asia).

Due to the latest financial push from China, the average price of a home in Greater Vancouver rose 12 percent in 2010 and is expected to rise another 3 percent this year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Demand from mainland immigrants now accounts for 29 percent of all new homes in Vancouver.

The situation in London is similar. Last year, overseas nationals purchased 28 percent of all resale properties across all prime London sites and 54 percent by value in the prime central London area in the more than 5 million pound ($8 million) price bracket, according to a recent report by Savills research.

“If the money from China were to start flowing into London at the same rate it does from billionaires in other countries, we would expect the value of ultra-prime London properties to grow by as much as 15 per cent,” said Yolande Barnes, head of Savills residential research. “The issue at present is that Chinese buyers aren’t taking, or can’t take, their money out of China.”

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May 13

China Watch Blog has learnt that Shanghai has some 132,000 individuals with a personal wealth of 10 million yuan ($1.54 million) or more.

That’s according to the Shanghai Wealth Report 2011, published on Thursday by the Hurun Report and the Australia-based independent financial adviser Gao Fu.

The figures show that the city is home to the second-largest number of wealthy people in China, after Beijing.

The “pig-feed king” Liu Yongxing, chairman of East Hope Group topped the list of Shanghai’s Top Ten wealthy people, with a personal fortune of about $5 billion. Second to Liu is the property tycoon Xu Rongmao, the chairman of Shanghai Shimao Group, with personal wealth of $4,900 million. Zhou Chengjian, the president of the Shanghai-based textile company Metersbonwe Group ranked third.

However, none of the above are home-grown residents of Shanghai. Liu hails from Sichuan province, Xu from Fujian province and Zhou comes from Zhejiang province.

Therefore, the Hurun Report further concluded that Ye Lipei, the chairman of the property company Super Ocean Group is the richest Shanghainese mentioned in the report. The 30-year-old basketball star Yao Ming is the youngest local billionaire.

The report also found that the city is home to 7,800 super-rich people, those with personal wealth of 100 million yuan. That’s a rise of around 7 percent from last year. In total, China has 60,000 super-rich people who are worth 100 million yuan or more, up about 10 percent on last year’s figure.

“Shanghai’s rapid economic development and exploding real estate market has created a situation where 1 in every 175 people in Shanghai is a millionaire,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, the chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.

The data indicate that the average age of the super-rich is 43, and that there has been a surge of interest in fine wines and collecting art, especially classic Chinese art.

The release of the report is important to luxury brand companies, because wealthy people are, inevitably, the biggest consumers of their goods. The report shows that the number of Shanghai-based consumers of luxury goods has grown by 8.2 percent year-on-year.

Hoogewerf further explained that more than 40 percent of those mentioned are clustered in the Yangtze River Delta region, in places such as the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and in Shanghai.

“These figures should certainly make the ears of luxury brands around the world prick up. If these luxury brands wish to expand in China, they should first of all check the potential market in the three places mentioned,” said Hoogewerf.

The Hurun Report is best known for its China Rich List, and this is the first time that it has compiled a report focusing on Shanghai alone.

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Jan 12

China Watch Blog has learnt that luxury-brand awareness is growing among China’s super rich, who recognize 20 percent more of the lavish brands than they did last year.

According to the Hurun Report, released on Tuesday, the 2011 Best of The Best Survey, which interviewed 401 Chinese mainland millionaires, each with assets of more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million), said the super rich in China are developing more sophisticated tastes in luxury products.

“Chinese entrepreneurs are getting more and more sophisticated, discerning and confident in their personal style, and what they aspire to, as they try to turn new money into old money,” Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Report, was quoted as saying by the China Daily.

“The time for China to learn from Europe is over. People here are becoming better educated. They are getting to know luxury brands that are not even familiar to some Europeans,” Hoogewerf said.

According to the 2010 Hurun Wealth Report, released in April, there are 875,000 multimillionaires and 55,000 billionaires in China, or 6.1 percent more millionaires and 7.8 percent more billionaires than last year.

This year, Louis Vuitton was again No 1 in the top ten overall most popular luxury brands among China’s super rich. Hermes rose to second place from fourth last year, and Chanel stayed in third place. Cartier was fourth and Gucci remained in fifth.

Cartier was the No 1 overall jewelry brand for the sixth year running, and Patek Philippe the leading luxury watch brand for the third time.

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Dec 17

China Watch Blog has picked this tip from Brian Tracy that “Any wealthy or successful person will tell you that how you think is a key success factor.”

The thoughts that you entertain in your own head are the only thing in life that you have FULL CONTROL OVER.

It has been demonstrated time and again that your dominant mental attitudes, the thoughts that you think on a regular basis, literally creates the circumstances and conditions in your life.

This can be extremely beneficial…..or terribly disastrous, depending on how you begin to use your mind. You have the choice; you can use your thoughts constructively or destructively. The decision is ultimately up to you.

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Oct 28

China Watch Blog has learnt that China has produced 49 more billionaires in the past year, bringing the total to 128, up from 79 last year, Forbes Asia.

People’s Daily reported that of the 128 tycoons with a 10-figure net worth, nine are under the age of 40, 11 are women, and Shenzhen leads with 17 billionaires, followed by Beijing with 15 and Shanghai with 10.

Also noteworthy is that 10 percent of the 400 richest Chinese in Forbes Asia’s latest overall ranking get all or part of their fortunes from China’s healthcare sector.

Topping this year’s list is Zong Qinghou, the chairman of beverage giant Wahaha, with an 8 billion U.S. dollars net worth, compared with 4.8 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Zong knocked off last year’s richest man Wang Chuanfu, who is now worth 4.25 billion U.S. dollars and ranked No. 10 after losing over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Robin Li comes in second with 7.2 billion U.S. dollars after seeing his net worth jump by more than 4 billion U.S. dollars on the rapid growth of the world’s biggest population of internet users. Shares of his company Baidu, soared 143 percent over the past year.

At No. 3 is Liang Wengen, worth 5.9 billion U.S. dollars.

Former journalist and now property tycoon Wu Yajun is China’s richest woman. She is at No. 8 with a net worth 4.7 billion U.S. dollars which she shares with her family. Enditem(Yeo and Gao)

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Oct 20

China Watch Blog has learnt that the strong upturn in the stock and real estate markets boosted the number of people in Taiwan classified as “rich” by 42%, the third-highest growth rate in Asia after Hong Kong and India, according to a survey conducted by Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch reports that the market value of Taiwanese stocks skyrocketed 70% and the value of real estate jumped by an average of nearly 20% last year, greatly increasing the wealth of the island`s people and boosting the number of “rich” individuals to 82,000 (the pre-financial tsunami level), up from 58,000 in 2008.

A “rich person” is defined as one having at least US$1 million in assets at his or her disposal for investment, excluding main residences and collections. This means that three out of every 1,000 people in Taiwan have joined the “rich” club, according to Merrill Lynch.

The survey report, dubbed Asia-Pacific Wealth Report 2010, was compiled by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, a Singaporean consulting firm, based on data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Taiwan`s Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, and 17 Asia-Pacific wealth management funds. It was the fifth such annual report.

The report shows that the stock market is the favorite investment vehicle for the rich people of Taiwan, who plan to deposit 26% of their wealth there next year. Many investors plan to cut down on their real estate holdings, however, and the share of wealth invested in real estate is expected to drop below 20% in 2011..

In the Asia-Pacific region as a whole the number of rich persons topped the 3 million mark last year, reaching the European level for the first time in five years. Seven out of every 10 rich people in the region were from Japan and China. Japan still had the largest number of rich people, despite its sluggish stock market, but the number there is growing very slowly. The number of rich people in China leaped 30% in 2009 to 480,000.

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