Move Over New York: Beijing Declared New ‘Billionaire Capital of the World’

New York has a long standing as the billionaire capital of the world, serving as home to 95 people with that extreme amount of wealth. For the first time, however, New York has been ousted from the title; Beijing now surpasses that number with an astounding 100 billionaires residing in the Chinese capital.  

This news comes out of the Shanghai-based firm Hurun, which tracks wealth in China and India as well as publishes an annual Global Rich List. Founder and chairman of Hurun, Rupert Hoogewerftold, told the Associated Press that the private research firm made its calculations using stock prices on January 15 of this year.

The Chinese stock market saw a rapid downslide recently, falling forty percent over the past six months, according to the Associated Press. Despite the tumultuous economy, Beijing still rose to become the city with the most billionaires. Hoogewerftold commented that this could be due to the opening of Initial Public Offerings, which Chinese government regulators held back for several years.

The Global Rich List showed that while the United States’ number of billionaires dropped by just two, China’s number increased by 90 new billionaires in 2015. China now has five of its cities in the top ten list of cities home to the greatest number of uber-wealthy. These cities are: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou – containing 100, 64, 50, 46, and 32 billionaires respectively.  

China contains almost a quarter of the total billionaires in the world, having 568 of those people reside within its borders. The U.S., second on the list, has 535 billionaires living in the country.

Bill Gates, who resides in the U.S., remains the number one richest person on the planet at a total net worth of $80bn. Business magnate and investor Warren Buffett and Spanish fashion tycoon Amancio Ortega round out the top three with personal wealths of $68bn and $64bn, respectively.  

Wang Jianlin is China’s wealthiest man with an estimated worth of $26bn, according to Hurun’s findings.  Although Wang has not yet broken into the top ten of Hurun’s list, Hoogewerftold emphasized the high proportion of Chinese self-made billionaires compared to those in the United States. “What we showed today is that at the super-wealth creation level, the Chinese are now leading,” he said. “People will look at China the same way that people looked at Stanford or Silicon Valley in the 1990s.”


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