Fast growth fuels rise in super rich
Updated: 2011-04-15 12:18
By Qian Yanfeng (China Daily European Weekly)
A violinist plays at the Hainan Rendez-Vous luxury exhibition for yachts, private planes and other luxurious goods at Sanya, Hainan province, on April 1. Chen Wenwu / for China Daily
Report cites rising property prices, gdp as key drivers of increasing number of chinese millionaires
China is closing in on having 1 million euro millionaires.
According to an annual wealth report released on April 12, the mainland has 960,000 millionaires with personal wealth
of 10 million yuan (1.06 million euros) or more.
That is up 9.7 percent year-on-year, says the GroupM Knowledge - Hurun Wealth Report 2011.
Rising property prices and a fast-growing GDP have been the key drivers for the rising number of Chinese millionaires, according to the report.
It finds that 55 percent of Chinese millionaires derive their wealth from private businesses, and 20 percent are property speculators who have ridden the fast hike in home prices.
About 15 percent are stock gurus, while the remaining 10 percent are high-earning salaried executives.
This is the third year of the report, written by publishing and events institute Hurun Report in cooperation with think tank GroupM Knowledge.
In 2009 there were 825,000 such millionaires while last year the number had grown to 875,000.
Housing prices rose across the country by 13.7 percent in 2010 according to government statistics, with luxury property prices rising even faster.
High-end property prices in China's leading financial metropolis Shanghai, for instance, grew 21 percent last year, according to figures from UK-based Knight Frank, one of the world's largest commercial and residential estate agents.
Despite the Chinese government's efforts to curb property speculation and control rampant housing prices, "the overall confidence of China's millionaires in the property sector and China's overall economy remains very high," says Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.
"The impact (of the tightening measures) may be on excessive new wealth creation, but I don't think it is going to affect very much the (rich's) appetite for luxury products," says Hoogewerf, known in China by his Chinese name Hu Run.
"For most luxury brands, the Chinese luxury consumers are now No 1: either representing the biggest market share or the fastest-growing," he says.
Of the 960,000 millionaires, 60,000 have been identified as China's super rich with 100 million yuan or more in wealth, up 9 percent year-on-year.
Beijing leads the way with 10,000 residents boasting 100 million yuan or more, followed by Guangdong province with 9,000 and Shanghai with 7,800.
The three places also lead in the number of millionaires with wealth of 10 million yuan or more.
According to the report, Chinese millionaires average 39 years old, a full 15 years younger than their Western counterparts. Thirty percent of the millionaires are female, the same as last year.
The report also put the number of China's billionaires at 4,000, but only a third were on the Hurun China Rich List 2010.
"(It suggests) there is still a great deal of hidden wealth in the Chinese economy," says Hoogewerf.
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