05:45 am - Saturday 23 May 2015

China has 271 billionaires

By staff - Tue Sep 13, 5:04 am

China has 271 billionaires, including Sany Group construction giant’s Liang Wengen, the richest with $11 billion, the 2011 Hurun Rich List reported.

China’s most affluent group expanded rapidly again this year, spurred by the country’s construction boom and growing retail market, the Hurun Research Institute, which prepared the list, said Wednesday, China Daily reported.

The wealthy in China appeared to remain largely unaffected by the turbulence in the global economy as indicated by the number of dollar billionaires jumping to 271 from 189 last year and 130 in 2009.

China Daily said the cut-off point to make the top 1,000 on the Hurun list jumped to $310 million, compared with $220 million last year and $150 million in 2009 — measured in dollars. The average wealth of those on the list hit $924 million.

“China’s rich have defied the global financial crisis with another record year of growth,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun chairman.

The report said 29 of the top 50 wealthy people counted property as one of their main sources of wealth.

The report said with construction showing little signs of slowing in China, Liang’s heavy construction equipment company, founded only in 1989, continues to enjoy strong demand.

Zong Qinghou, 66, founder of food and beverage giant Hangzhou Wahaha Group, fell to second place this year after his fortune dropped to $10.7 billion from $12 billion.

The third richest is Robin Li, 43, co-founder of Baidu Inc., a Chinese language Internet search service, whose net worth is reported at $8.8 billion.

The real number of China’s wealthiest people is probably a lot more than 271, the report said.

“You can double the real number of billionaires in China to nearer 600,” Hoogewerf said.

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