For the First Time, China Has More Billionaires Than the U.S.

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Billionarie Population: China Ranks In First Place

According to the latest Hurun Rich List, China has replaced the US as the country with the most billionaires.

Jianlin Wang, the real estate tycoon and chairman of Wanda Group, has replaced Jack Ma of the Alibaba group, as the richest person in China. Jianlin Wang has also replaced Ka-shing Li, the Hong Kong tycoon, becoming the richest person in the greater China region.

The amount of Mainland China’s billionaires has increased by 242 people, reaching a number of 596. This is groundbreaking: China surpassed the U.S. for the first time. If we include the billionaires in Macao, Hong Kong and Tai Wan, the greater China region now has 715 billionaires. The United States ranks in second place with 537 people.

Who Are The Wealthiest People In China?

According to the report, Jianlin Wang has a fortune of $34.4 billion, largely due to his chain of movie theaters. With the cooling off of China’s real estate market, Wang has swerved his business to media, tourism and financial areas. The second richest person is Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce Alibaba, with a fortune of $22.7 billion. According to the Hurun report, Jack Ma’s fortune shrank by 2.2%, due to the decline of Alibaba’s New York stock prices. Number three is Qinghou Zong of Wahaha soft drinks empire, with a fortune of $21.2 billion.

Rupert Hoogewerf, chief researcher for the Hurun Report, said:

Despite the slowdown in the economy, China’s richest have defied gravity, recording their best year ever, and creating more wealth than any country has ever done before in a year”

Hurun report also showed that the Chinese stock market’s rising made the Chinese billionaires’ numbers to surpass those of the U.S. Also because of it, many of these fortunes are book value and may change quickly. As Hurun Rich List used the stock market’s data of August 14th, these fortunes have already changed since Shanghai composite index has dropped a lot after that.

What Is The Chinese Public’s View Of The Chinese MegaRich?

According to a poll in Sina News, for the Chinese population, the list of wealthy people always show the same names. Most Chinese people agree that the gap between rich and poor is growing. However, the Chinese have a critical view: They want those super rich people to show their social responsibilities.

Most Chinese people agree that the gap between rich and poor is growing. However, the Chinese have a critical view: They want those super rich people to show their social responsibilities.”

However, the views of the Chinese population are mixed. For young people, these rich entrepreneurs are their role models. Many Chinese universities are competing to invite them to give speeches. The image of super rich people intensifies the Chinese’ antipathy toward social inequality: the rich are usually considered lavish and greedy. Nevertheless, most people agree rich people are smarter. As for those superrich people who conform the Hurun list, such as Jianlin Wang and Jack Ma, the Chinese believe they have the image of being modest, hard working, smart and responsible.

What Is the Impact Of Chinese Billionaires To The World?

China’s third quarter GDP growth is likely to drop to 6.8%.  Still, the number of Chinese billionaires added to the fact that China is the world’s second largest economy shows something: China’s economic force will certainly impact the world’s economy in a larger degree.

China’s economy also increases their political influence, which is both appealing and challenging for Chinese diplomacy. Many countries criticize China for it’s export policy and blame it bringing global economic unbalance. But China’s growing domestic consumption would benefit international trade.

Some analysts also worry about global scarcity of resources. They claim China’s resources can’t afford such a swelling domestic consumption with a huge population, urging China to find another sustainable development path. For southeast Asian nations, China’s economic growth brings China more political power. This created more worries for them as China’s navy might be more aggressive for the control of South China Seas. 

To a certain extent, Chinese growth also brought a symbolic meaning: with great power comes great responsibility. China still has a lot to do to become a global economic giant.


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