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Beijing tops Hurun rich list with 143,000 millionaires
By Yu Tianyu (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-08-24 08:29

The latest Hurun Report on China's wealthiest people highlights how the super-rich of Beijing want to live their lives.

Beijing has the largest number of wealthy people in China, according to the report.

It said there are 143,000 multimillionaires and 8,800 billionaires in Beijing.

There are 116,000 multimillionaires and 7,000 billionaires in Shanghai.

High-rollers in Beijing need to spend at least 87 million yuan on property, cars and other luxury goods in order to be regarded as one of the city's "new aristocrats", or upper class, the report said.

They own at least three dwellings of their own, including a villa, like the 400-sq-m Ziyu Shanzhuang villa costing 24 million yuan, a luxury apartment in the downtown area for work purposes, and a Siheyuan courtyard house probably in Houhai.

Most of them prefer investing in arts and they are willing to spend as much as 50,000 yuan for a year of piano classes, said the report.

In their luxury homes, they also have rare porcelain and jade ware collections interspersed with works of ancient or contemporary painters.

The rich in Beijing consider Cartier as the favorite luxury brand and are not too interested in other brands like Louis Vuitton. They keep themselves updated on the world of finance with China Business News rather than the 21st Century Business Herald.

According to the report, the bulk of their expenditures is on property, furnishings and fabrics.

"During the past several years, the complexion of the rich in China has changed in many aspects," said Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and publisher of the Hurun Report. "Many of them say they want to be a sort of upper class, rather than only being rich."

The report described the capital's wealthiest as people who wear haute couture and who carefully choose gifts for parents, spouses and children on special days.

They probably drive a 1 million yuan Mercedes Benz R500 limousine and are also members of Yongfoo Lite, the most popular club for Beijing's wealthiest.

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Their wives usually frequent the Lan Club with friends, wear Bulgari platinum and diamond watches and drive BMW sports cars.

Japan's Osaka and Tokyo are the top travel destinations for spouses, and they attend musicals and the opera several times a year.

Annual spending of the rich in Beijing is estimated at about 5.7 million yuan, mainly for new cars, collections and about 1 million yuan for donations, the report said.

The Hurun Report also defined the upper class in five other cities: Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Shenyang.

The report is based on the luxury lifestyle of a typical rich family consisting of a 43-year-old husband, his 42-year-old wife and their child, age 14.

The Hurun Report, established in 1999, is regarded by some as the foremost authority in tracking the rapid changes among China's high net worth individuals.

China has 825,000 individuals worth more than 10 million yuan and 51,000 individuals with more than 100 million yuan, according to the report.

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