Nearly half of China’s rich are considering emigrating, said a report by the Bank of China and the Hurun Report, with the United States, Canada and Singapore taking the top three destinations spots.
In the joint report published in the Private Banking White Paper 2011, 46 percent of Chinese with assets worth more than 10 million yuan ($1.57 million) are considering moving abroad, while another 14 percent said they had already moved or were applying to do so.
The United States (40%), Canada(37%) and Singapore(14%) are the top destinations for the 980 millionaires surveyed.
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While China’s economic growth has been exceptional, concerns are mounting that its economic performance could be derailed by a host of problems like high inflation, housing bubbles and a sharp contraction in external demand.
Most Chinese who have benefitted from the country’s growth have also expressed concerns in social issues, such as China’s one child policy, food safety, pollution, corruption, lack of good schools and a weak legal system.
Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder and publisher of Hurun Report, said the most common reason cited by respondents who were emigrating was their children's education, followed by a desire for better medical treatment, and the fear of pollution in China.
"There's also an element of insurance being taken out here," he said, citing concerns about the economic and political environment.
He cautioned, though, that it was unclear if the survey results signaled capital flight as many high-net-worth individuals who were emigrating also said they were keeping much of their money invested in China.
According to the white paper, the main sources of income for 20 percent of wealthy individuals came from the real estate and manufacturing industries, much higher than the 10 percent seen at the global level. The paper suggests that the finance and investment, entertainment and culture and retail sectors will be the three most likely to produce more wealthy Chinese in the future.
According to Hurun’s 2011 rich list, China now has 271 billionaires, up from 189 last year.
The latest report estimates there are 960,000 people in China who are worth more than 10 million yuan, a 9.7 percent increase from 2010.
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