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Beijing: more billionaires than New York

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It was only a matter of time, in fact. In 2014 we witnessed the overtaking of China on the United States in the challenge of GDP, two years later a new record confirms the change of paradigm in the global economy and the consolidation of the Asian giant as the new leader.


According to data compiled by Hurun Report, a Chinese publisher specialized in the field of luxury, which annually draws up the list of the super rich of the country, the capital Beijing now has a number of billionaires higher than that claimed by New York. 100 to 95, is the final result, but the measure of change is not given by the five billionaires of difference, rather by the Chinese “rate of growth”. In the last year the exclusive club of billionaires in Beijing has opened its doors to 32 new members, compared with an increase of just 4 elements for  the economic and financial Big Apple élite. In third place, the Moscow of old and new riches, with 66 billionaires registered at the luxury registry.

The crisis in Asian markets, in recent weeks, has burned thousands of billions, but it does not seem, therefore, capable to stop the process of concentration of wealth in a few hands, as happens in every authentic capitalist country. “Despite its own slowdown and falling stock markets — says Rupert Hoogewerf, chief researcher and Chairman of Hurun Report –  China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new listings”.

Although the match between Beijing and New York appear to be particularly symbolic, China had already achieved similar record nationally, last October, as attested by the Hurun Report. According to the new data, just published, the Asian Dragon now offers accommodation and shelter to 568 billionaires, 90 more than last year. To get an idea, just know that the combined wealth of these 568 McDucks amount  to 1400 billion dollars, equal to the Gross Domestic Product of the entire Australia. Of these, 40% have less than forty years, a demographic advantage that may impact on the charts in the coming years. The United States, once again, arrive in second position, with 535 stars and stripes billionaires, two fewer than the previous year. And this is also a fact to think about.

At the level of individual wealth, however, the Chinese captains still don’t occupy the first rows. The richest, in China, is the tycoon Wiang Jianlin, basically unknown outside of national boundaries. Wang is chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, the largest Chinese real estate enterprise, and owns AMC Entertainment Holdings, the largest theater operator in the world. His personal fortune amount to 26 billion, according to Hurun Report, and in the ranking of the wealthiest men on the planet occupies the twenty-first position. Not enough to outclass people like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the financier Warren Buffet.

Again, we imagine, it is only a matter of time before Jianglin and handful of his countrymen overtake US celebrities of wealth. The leading group include Jack Ma, founder of the mega-portal of e-commerce Alibaba and the heads of tech giants such as Tencent, Baidu and Xiaomi, which is preparing to invade Western markets with its economic and technologically advanced smartphones. Good Morning China.


Luca Marchesini




Luca Marchesini
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