No villa’s, no expensive cars or another concubine, but a foreign passport tops the wishlist of China’s wealthy, says Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of Hurun’s Rich List to AP. An insurance p0licy for when things go wrong.
There is also a yawning gap between rich and poor in China, which feeds a resentment that makes some of the wealthy uncomfortable. The country’s uneven jump to capitalism over the last three decades has created dozens of billionaires, but China barely ranks in the top 100 on a World Bank list of countries by income per person.
Getting a foreign passport is like “taking out an insurance policy,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, who compiles the Hurun Rich List, China’s version of the Forbes list.
“If there is political unrest or suddenly things change in China — because it’s a big country, something could go wrong — they already have a passport to go overseas. It’s an additional safety net.”
Among the 20,000 Chinese with at least 100 million yuan ($15 million) in individual investment assets, 27 percent have already emigrated and 47 percent are considering it, according to a report by China Merchants Bank and U.S. consultants Bain & Co. published in April.
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