China’s Millionaires Want to Leave China

Approximately half of China’s wealthiest citizens are planning to leave the country, according to a survey that was conducted by the Bank of China recently.

The joint survey, which was performed by the Bank of China and luxury magazine producer Hurun, revealed that, of the 980 Chinese people with assets worth more than 2 million Yuan questioned, 46% were considering moving abroad and 14% had already initiated the process. Those considering leaving China revealed that they were seeking better education opportunities and a higher standard of living in a less polluted environment. In addition to this, many of them were concerned that their assets were at risk if they remained in China and others still wanted to leave China because they had obtained their wealth illegally. Beijing-based scholar Hu Xingdou was cited by CNN as saying to Ming Pao, a Hong Kong newspaper: “We see too many worried entrepreneurs nowadays who are afraid that they will end up in prison for offending Chinese officials.”

“Getting a foreign passport is like taking out an insurance policy,” one millionaire from Zhejiang province was quoted as saying.

Top of the list of the countries that the wealthy Chinese were attracted to was the United States, followed by Canada, Singapore and Europe. Approximately 33% of those surveyed revealed that they already had offshore investments in place with the explicit intention of easing the process by which they could emigrate. The most popular destinations for the majority of these investments is the US, Hong Kong, Canada and Singapore, with the mainstay of the capital being placed in property.

Despite the economic crisis that has had profound implications throughout the world, China now has 271 US-dollar billionaires. Many of the country’s wealthiest citizens have made their money in China’s construction and property sectors, as well as a growing domestic retail market.

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