Chinese Millionaires and Chinese Billionaires


Hurun - The Chinese Rich List 2015

Earlier this month Hurun published its annual Rich List recording the continuing rise of Chinese billionaires and millionaires over the last year.

In the last twelve months a faltering economy has not halted the continuing boom in the creation of billionaires in China. The number of dollar billionaires in China now exceeds the US with 596 individuals, an increase of 242 from the total of 314 last year. With the inclusion of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, Greater China is home to an even more impressive 715 billionaires. This compares with the US which is home to 537 billionaires.

To qualify for inclusion in the list an individual must have personal wealth of CNY 2bn (roughly US$310m) and this year 1,877 individuals met the criteria an increase of almost 50% when compared to last year.

The list of billionaires is topped by Mr Wang Jianlin, the Chinese property magnate, who leap frogged Mr Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba and Mr Li Ka-shing, the Hong Kong entrepreneur, with a 52% increase to his fortune in the last year.

To place the wealth accumulated by these individuals into context, the Hurun Report, notes that their combined wealth of US$2.1 trillion is greater than the GDP of Inia or Russia. Their economic influence is growing with their enterprises employing over 10% of the total Chinese workforce and contributing US$100 billion or 4% of government tax revenues in the last year.

The IT industry is the largest contributor to the increasing source of wealth according to the Report with a 43% increase in the number of individuals from the IT sector. Manufacturing continued to increase with 28% of the individuals. Real estate and property continued to decline,falling to its lowest level of 16% since the Report was started 17 years ago, when approximately 50% of the list was made up of property tycoons.

By location most of the wealthy are based in Beijing followed by Shenzhen, which continues to pull ahead of Shanghai.

The majority of individuals are male, but women are an increasing force with 21% of individuals listed, with Ms Zhou Qunfei, having an estimated wealth of US$10billion, in the top 20 and the world’s wealthiest woman.
It is interesting to note that only 5% of the individuals listed inherited their wealth with the remaining 95% being self-made.

Credit Suisse and Bain & Co also report

Looking to the future, Credit Suisse anticipates that in the next 5 years mainland China can expect to be home to 2.3million US dollar millionaires, almost double the number now (approximately 1.3million individuals). While this is a significant increase the US will continue to remain well ahead of the rest of the world with an expected 20.6 million millionaires by 2020.

Credit Suisse reported growth in household wealth by 7% over the last year to move China into second place to the US in its Global Wealth Report. This increase in wealth placed the Chinese mainland with the US and Britain as the leading major economies recording strong wealth growth in the last year.

Away from mainland China Hong Kong posted strong growth, with total household wealth rising by an impressive 8.3% in the last year to an estimated US$1 trillion.

In a separate report released earlier this year by Bain & Co with the China Merchants Bank, the number of ultra-high-net worth individuals, with assets of US$50 million or more, increased in China to over 9,500 individuals; a substantial 24% increase in a year. There was also a corresponding increase in the number of high-net-worth individuals, with assets of over US$10 million, who had doubled to one million individuals in the last five years.

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