Their mansion cellars are chock-full of the finest burgundies. Their gift cupboards, packed with luxury European goods. As they play real-life monopoly with central London property, their offspring purr around the cities in orange Lamborghinis. In this land of China, where the authorities have traditionally strived for a classless society with common property ownership, the number of US$ billionaires are growing like Jack’s beanstalk.
As much of the world suffers through their financial crises, China’s rampant economic growth continues to pump out billionaires. Between 2009 and 2010, the number of Chinese billionaires grew 45% from 130 to 189, from 2010 to 2011, 43% to 271. China’s tally is now second only to the United State’s 413 mega-wealthy.
But China’s actual Billionaire count could be more than double the official figures. Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher from Hurun Rich List 2011, estimates there are a further 300 ‘hidden billionaires’ lurking amongst China’s financial underworld.
China’s Place in the Podium of the World’s Billionaires
Why do so many Chinese billionaires remain hidden?
China’s Death Penalty, Suicide, Murder: Chinese Billionaire Population Control
Being a billionaire in China is more risky than climbing Everest or even paddling the Blue Nile. According to China Daily, 72 of China’s billionaires have died an unnatural death over the past 8 years. That’s one dead billionaire every 40 days.
China Billionaire’s Early Death Causes 2003-2011
Murder ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ 15
Suicide ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ 17
Executed ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ 14
Accident ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ 7
Disease* ☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠☠ 19
* The average age of death by disease is just 48 years old which would arouse further suspicions in this age of advanced medical remedies, especially for the wealthy
Rich Chinese have Less Sex
The Chinese score below the global average on sex frequency stakes, but it seems being rich in China reduces love sessions even more. A 2011 Chinese Sex Survey conducted by the China Population Communication Center and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences found the poorest Chinese are the most promiscuous. 83.5% of Chinese with a salary of less than 6,000 RMB ($950) a month have sex more than once a month, whereas just 30% of those earning more than 9,000 RMB ($1,400) do the horizontal hula twice or more every moon cycle.
How to become a Chinese Billionaire (or at least make a bucket load on Cash in China)
Not scared off by an early death or a life of abstinence? You’d rather risk that to be flown around in private jets courtesy of the world’s casinos? Jump on China’s booming construction band wagon. 29 of China’s top 50 billionaires can attribute construction as one of their main sources of wealth. Choose an English name like Warren, Bill or Donald. And join The Party. One third of the top 50 are also delegates of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC), the highest state body and only legislative house in the land. Beijing has China’s highest count of billionaires with 111 billionaires versus 83 in Shenzhen and 80 in Shanghai.
On average, you’ll be 50 years old and you won’t get rich working for the man; the average billionaire left a government job at 33 to start their own business.
Here’s how the top-10 made their money in order of wealth: heavy machinery, beverages, Internet, property investments, property developer (x3), aluminium and feed, home appliances and more property development.
And if you weren’t born in the mainland, there is still hope. With non-Chinese passport holders who’ve made their billions in China now in double digits, there is a chance for anyone, well anyone with Asian ethnicity. Those foreigners who’ve made their billions in China are Indonesian-Chinese, Brazilian-Chinese, Taiwanese or Hong Kongese, no doubt speaking Chinese and blending in reasonably well.