[Marxism] China fights world capitalism: Dethrones US as billionaire capital

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Sat Oct 17 21:23:26 MDT 2015

US dethroned as world's billionaire capital
Thursday, 15 Oct 2015 | 12:26 PM ETCNBC.com


The U.S. has lost its crown as the country with the most billionaires.

According to a report released Thursday, China minted 242 billionaires 
over the past year, leading to a nearly 70 percent jump in its 
billionaire population. The country's 596 billionaires surpassed the 
number of billionaires in the United States, at 537, according to the 
Hurun Rich List.
Wang Jianlin (L), chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, shakes hands with 
Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group last April.
ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images
Wang Jianlin (L), chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, shakes hands with 
Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group last April.

Released Thursday, the report found China produced nearly five 
billionaires a week during the year ended Aug. 14.

To be sure, the list was created at the beginning of China's stock 
market swoon — so it's unclear how much wealth was destroyed during the 
remainder of August and September. At the time of the list's cutoff, 
stock markets were already 30 percent off their June peak, but have 
dropped another 14 percent since.

"Despite the slowdown in the economy, China's richest have defied 
gravity, recording their best year ever, and creating more wealth than 
any country has ever done before in a year," said Rupert Hoogewerf, the 
Hurun Report's chairman and chief researcher.

The numbers from Hurun, a Chinese-based wealth research and 
luxury-advisory company, differ from those of Forbes, which said in 
March that China had only 213 billionaires, compared with 536 in the 
U.S. (For more on the fuzzy math of calculating billionaires see here.)

Yet they nonetheless suggest that despite widespread fears of a slowdown 
in China's economy and the government's crackdown on the wealthy, the 
Chinese super-rich continue to prosper. According to the report, the 
total combined wealth of China's billionaires was $2.1 trillion.

The richest man in China as of August was Wang Jianlin, chairman of 
conglomerate Dalian Wanda, who snatched the top spot back from Jack Ma 
of Alibaba.

With a net worth of $34.4 billion, Wang Jianlin and Dalian Wanda have 
made a string of high-profile purchases in recent years, including a 
$20.4 million Monet he bought at Sotheby's this spring.

Technology was the fastest-growing source of wealth among the top 10, 
according to Hurun, yet real estate was still the largest source of 
wealth for those Chinese rich. Five of the top 10 richest billionaires 
made their money from real estate.

The government crackdown on corruption among the Chinese rich also has 
had ripple effects for several names on the billionaire list. Hurun said 
that 16 of the people on the 2014 rich list are in "varying degrees of 
trouble with the authorities," with one in jail, four awaiting trial, 
seven under investigation, one under arrest and three with "whereabouts 

According to the report, 95 percent of the Chinese rich are self-made.

"The influence of these top entrepreneurs is growing, as we saw in 
September when President Xi took nine of the Hurun Rich List in his 
official 15-strong entourage to visit the U.S.," Hoogewerf said.
China's top 10 billionaires


Wealth (US$bn)

Wealth Change



1     Wang Jianlin & family     34.4     52%     61     Wanda     Real 
estate, entertainment
2     Jack Ma Yun & family     22.7     -3%     51     Alibaba     IT
3     Zong Qinghou & family     21.1     8%     70     Wahaha     Drinks
4     Pony Ma Huateng     18.8     11%     44     Tencent     IT
5     Lei Jun     14.4     104%     46     Xiaomi Technology     Smart 
phones, investments
6     Yan Hao & family     14.2     7%     29     China Pacific 
Construction     Road building
7     Robin Li Yanhong & Melissa Ma Dongmin     13.3     -19%     47, 45 
Baidu     Search Engine
8 *     Lu Zhiqiang     13     137%     63     Fanhai     Real estate, 
finance, investments
9 *     Zhang Jindong     12.7     84%     52     Suning     Retail, 
real estate
10 *     Lu Guanqiu & family     10.2     65%     69     Wanxiang 
Car parts, real estate, agriculture
10     Yan Bin     10.2     8%     61     Reignwood     Red Bull, real 

Hurun Research Institute 2015; *New to top 10 

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