Beijing now has more billionaires than New York

Global Business

Beijing now has more billionaires than New York

Despite of economic slowdown, China created more billionaires in 2015. And for the first time ever, Beijing kicked New York City out of the top spot, becoming the billionaire capital of the world.

CCTV’s Martina Fuchs reports.

Beijing now has more billionaires than New York

Beijing now has more billionaires than New York

Despite of economic slowdown, China created more billionaires in 2015. And for the first time ever, Beijing kicked New York City out of the top spot, becoming the billionaire capital of the world. CCTV’s Martina Fuchs reports.

China’s economic growth may be slowing but the number of billionaires in the capital is definitely on the rise.

The Shanghai-based Hurun Report’s Global Rich List 2016 released earlier this year says Beijing overtook the Big Apple as the “billionaire capital of the world” for the first time.

Beijing is now home to 100 billionaires — an increase of 32 from 2014 — topping New York, which has 95 billionaires, four more than it did last year.

One of the Beijing billionaires is Zhang Xin, CEO of real estate developer SOHO China.

She ranks 793rd on the Global Rich List 2016 with an estimated fortune of $3 billion. But the road to wealth didn’t come easy.

“China is an incredible place for women. If you look at the private sector, there is such a great atmosphere and opportunities for entrepreneurs, and I think women are just natural entrepreneurs,” she said.

The very exclusive membership-only China Entrepreneur Club, set up in 2006, counts 50 of China’s top business leaders and many of them billionaires based in Beijing.

A wall at the China Entrepreneur Club in Beijing has the handprints of all its members, including property and entertainment tycoon Wang Jianlin and e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

Some of these billionaire hands don’t just pocket the money for themselves, but donate part of their fortunes to charity. In terms of philanthropy, however, Beijing still ranks far behind New York and other world cities.


Number of total billionaires sets new world record

The Hurun report also found that China, with 568 billionaires, has more billionaires than any other country.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber reports.

Number of total billionaires sets new world record

Number of total billionaires sets new world record

The Hurun report also found that China, with 568 billionaires, has more billionaires than any other country. CCTV America's Karina Huber reports.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s richest man. Even after giving away $17 billion to charity, he leads the pack by a wide margin with a net worth of $80 billion.

Rounding out the top three are investor superstar Warren Buffett with $68 billion and Zara founder Amancio Ortega worth $64 billion.

According to Hurun, globally the number of billionaires has ballooned by 50 percent since 2013 to a new world record. This despite — or perhaps because of — slow economic growth.

The number of Chinese billionaires has grown by 80 percent over the last three years, according to the Huran report.

It’s estimated that the top 1 percent will soon hold over half of the world’s wealth. That has raised lots of ethical questions. But what is the economic impact of a growing number of billionaires?

That’s a question Columbia University Professor Jan Svejnar has been asking. His latest report finds they either have a net neutral or negative effect on economic growth, depending on how the money is made.

“We find that the negative effect is driven by the politically connected billionaires and that the ones who are not politically connected or who obtained it without obvious government connection actually have neither positive nor negative effect on the rate of growth of the economies of their countries,”Svejnar said.

He said when billionaires are not self-made, they tend to be less productive with their money.


Dan Alexander on Chinese billionaires

For more on forging fortunes, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Dan Alexander. He is an associate editor at Forbes.

Dan Alexander on Chinese billionaires

Dan Alexander on Chinese billionaires

For more on forging fortunes, CCTV America's Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Dan Alexander. He is an associate editor at Forbes.