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New report tallies up the nation's wealthiest

ONE in every 1,700 people on the Chinese mainland has more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in personal assets, the Hurun Report, a luxury business magazine best known for its "China Rich List," said yesterday.

The mainland is home to about 825,000 people who are worth more than 10 million yuan and at least 51,000 who are worth more than 100 million yuan, the Hurun Report said, the first time it calculated those figures.

The number of China's super-rich "is beyond my expectation, and probably that of most of foreign people," said Hurun Chairman Rupert Hoogewerf. "The rapid growth of the number of rich people in China manifested itself in the way the Chinese economy has kept a steady pace in recent years, because of surging real estate and stock markets."

Shanghai ranks after Beijing and Guangdong Province in the number of rich people. One in every 161 people in Shanghai boasts more than 10 million yuan in assets, according to the report. Half of the richest people on the Chinese mainland live in the three most affluent areas.

"With the growth in wealth comes a surge in self-confidence driving China's wealthy to continue to spend despite the economic crisis," Hoogewerf said. "And there is an increased importance of China's second- and third-tier cities for brands looking to tap China's high-end consumers."

The World Luxury Association said earlier that China had overtaken the United States to become the second-biggest luxury goods market following Japan. Luxury consumption in China totaled US$8.6 billion last year, accounting for 25 percent of the global market. The association also said the Chinese mainland accounts for 70 percent of China's luxury spending.

Mainland multimillionaires were an average 39 years old, according to the report. Multimillionaires were mostly entrepreneurs whose main assets came from their companies. Senior executives, mostly from Shanghai and Beijing, made up the second-largest category of wealthy people.

The rich were spending more time in the pool and playing golf, the report said.

About 68 percent of them had regular medical checkups, while 10 percent had their own personal doctors. Twenty percent were nonsmokers.

Mainland rich people enjoyed 65 percent more holidays than a year ago, and 36 percent of them took more than 20 days off, while only 19 percent said they did so last year.

The US was their favorite overseas destination while Yunnan Province and the beach resort city of Sanya in southern China's Hainan Province were the most popular for domestic breaks. The mainland's rich people also enjoyed shopping in Hong Kong, the report said.


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