The unflattering image of China's wealthy

09:56, May 17, 2011      

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Thirty years after Deng Xiaoping said it was ok to allow some to get rich first, the annual "Hurun Wealth Report" released in Shanghai last month, showed almost 1 million people in China are worth more than 10 million yuan ($1.49 million).

Hurun's report was not received with celebrations of an approaching milestone; it instead unleashed another wave of deride-the-rich.

Hurun's founder Rupert Hoogewerf is also the publisher of the "China Rich List", which reveals the names of the China's wealthiest individuals.

Hurun's "Wealth Report" showed that more than 960,000 people - one in 1,400 - have personal assets of more than 10 million yuan. Almost half of them live in three major places: Beijng accounts for 17.7 percent, Guangdong Province 16.4 percent, while Shanghai's share was 13.8 percent.

The numbers of million-and-a-half-aires jumped 9.7 percent since Hurun's report last year. The Wealth Report showed 55 percent of them are business owners, while 20 percent are real estate speculators, 15 percent made their money trading stocks and only 10 percent are salaried executives.

Many experts and media commentators say the public's ire is mainly aimed at speculators who seemingly got rich without contributing to the economy or society.

Online comments and traditional media commentators blamed rapidly rising housing prices on house-hoarding by developers.

"Developers never think about ordinary people. They know there is high demand. They're just like vampires wringing every drop of blood from our bodies," said Zhang Dongxiao, a 27-year-old accountant from Shanghai.

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Source: Global Times
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