Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Fleeing Rich

It's not surprising to find that nearly half of all the mainland's super rich are considering emigration.

According to a newspaper article today, the survey was done by the infamous Hurun Report that surveyed people one-on-one in 18 major cities with assets of more than 10 million RMB. It also found 14 percent of 980 millionaires had either already moved overseas or were applying to do so.

The average respondent was 42 years old and was worth more than 60 million yuan.

Forty-six percent said they planned to emigrate, citing better education for their children overseas and concerns about security of their assets in China due to political and economic uncertainty. A third were either in the process of or investigating "investment immigration".

Interestingly the report did not list the most popular destinations for mainland millionaires though Hong Kong is probably top of the list. The city has attracted some HK$50 billion in investment immigration, and the effects can be seen in the property and fashion markets.

A Xinhua report also said that developed countries with good health care systems and less polluted environments like Canada and Australia were top destinations for mainland millionaires.

Other reasons for wanting to emigrate include the lack of legal framework in protecting assets, rising living costs and taxation. Some -- such as corrupt officials and businesspeople -- just wanted to leave because they obtained their money illegally. The increasing wealth gap also made the super rich uncomfortable living among their fellow citizens. Perhaps it's because they feel resentment when they ostentatiously show their wealth?

"This massive insecurity about the safety of their assets is like a huge black cloud hanging over their heads," said independent business commentator Ye tan was quoted as saying in the survey report.

The Hurun Report is "infamous" because once people's wealth is listed on there, not long afterwards many are hauled in by the Chinese government for corruption and soon after that they are either languishing in jail or executed.

It's no wonder they don't want to be scrutinized by anyone about their wealth.

Nevertheless it's interesting to note that while the super rich are benefiting from the system, they now feel they have accumulated enough to leave... how patriotic is that?

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