Majority of China’s Richest Live Outside Big Cities

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Apr. 17 – Majority of China’s wealthiest people live outside the huge cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, according to a study.

The Hurun 2009 Wealth Report announced that 825,000 people in China have a reported personal wealth of more than RMB10 million (US$1.47 million) while 51,000 people are worth more than RMB100 million. Fifty-two percent of these millionaires live outside the traditional centers of wealth.

The study validated previous reports that much of the country’s growing wealthy consumer segment will come from smaller cities. Companies looking to tap into China’s local market are better served by looking beyond Beijing and Shanghai and establishing their presence in second and third-tier cities.

According to a separate report made by McKinsey & Co: “In Beijing, the biggest brand names often have several retail outlets, but many go unrepresented in Chengdu or Wenzhou, even though Chengdu has more wealthy households than Detroit, and Wenzhou as many as Atlanta.”

According to the Hurun Report, 48 percent of China’s richest are concentrated in Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai with Beijing home to the most millionaires with 143,000 individuals valued at more than RMB10 million and 8,800 individuals with more than RMB100 million yuan.

Guangdong Province follows with 137,000 people then Shanghai with 116,000, and then Zhejiang Province with 110,500 millionaires. In Hangzhou and Wenzhou there are 42,300 and 18,200 millionaires respectively.

The study based the ranking on measured private wealth, including businesses, luxury cars, taxes, company registered capital and private residences. It also took into consideration the Gini coefficient measuring income distribution to the 2008 China GDP and 2007 China GNP.