Striking it rich: Chinese billionaires are booming

13:27, April 27, 2011      

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PEOPLE of Chinese origin have become the second largest group of billionaires behind the United States, Forbes China said yesterday.

Thanks to China's robust manufacturing and property investment, 213 billionaires of Chinese origin reported a combined fortune of US$566.9 billion, making up 12.6 percent of the wealth of 1,210 dollar billionaires in the world.

China's mainland is home to 115 billionaires, while Hong Kong has 35, and Taiwan 25. Almost all the billionaires in Malaysia, Thailand, Philippine, Singapore and Indonesia are of Chinese origin, the report said.

"A circle of wealthy Chinese people is taking shape. Wherever the billionaires are residing, their businesses are getting more and more related with the opening up and fast growing market on China's mainland," said Zhou Jiangong, chief editor of Forbes China. "The market and clients they serve are mainly Chinese too."

Manufacturing, property investment and financial services are three main drivers of individual wealth of people of Chinese origin, according to Forbes China.

But billionaires on China's mainland are more likely get rich through manufacturing, those in Hong Kong prefer real estate and financial investment, and the Taiwan billionaires thrive in the electronics industry, the report said.

Unlike Western billionaires, who are usually focused on a specific industry, billionaires of Chinese origin are more likely to be engaged in a variety of industries.

"The development of residential projects, hotels, commercial properties and the quick urbanization on China's mainland has provided a unprecedented feast of fortune," said Zhou.

Hong Kong is home to the three richest billionaires on the list - Li Kai-shing, Thomas and Raymond Kwok and family, and Lee Shau Kee, who have won a massive fortunes from the property market on China's mainland, the report said.

Li, chairman of Hutchison Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings, secured his position as the richest on the list after his wealth grew from US$21 billion to US$26 billion.

Robin Li, the richest person on China's mainland, built his fortune of US$9.4 billion through Baidu, China's popular search engine.

Liang Wengen, chairman of Sany Group, one of China's largest construction equipment manufacturers, became the second richest after the company's share price surged last year.

China's active initial public listing activities also bred new billionaires such as Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical Chairman Li Li and Rongsheng Petro Chemical Chairman Li Shuirong.

In Taiwan, couple Cher Wang and Wenchi Chen made a fortune from their HTC phone brand.

"The influence of billionaires of Chinese origin is generally smaller than the Western ones. Many of them are still local businessmen," said Liu Ruiming, executive chief editor of Forbes China.

The United States remains the biggest billionaire magnet on the planet, with 413.


Source: Shhanghai Daily
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:梁军)

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