As people from around the globe flood into China in search of riches, more than 50% of China’s rich are considering leaving the country. According to a new study on private wealth in China from consultancy Bain & Company, nearly half of the country’s richest citizens have considered investment immigration — a form of temporary or permanent residence that some countries, such as the U.S., give to foreign citizens when they create jobs and invest a high sum of money in a lesser-developed region.
Around 10% of the wealthiest have already decided to move, another estimated 10% are planning to apply for immigration, and the rest are considering it, said the study, which surveyed 2600 “high net worth individuals” in China. Obtaining an investment visa for the U.S. requires at least $500,000, a sum that would be hard to stomach for almost any Chinese person a decade ago but which is now well within reason for many.
The number of Chinese citizens who boast investable assets of more than 10 million yuan, or roughly $1.5 million, is expected to reach 585,000 this year, nearly doubling 2008 figures, the study said. The fastest growing segment: those with more than 100 million yuan stuffed away in their pocketbooks. While the new wealth is still most densely concentrated in coastal metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai, the study found that growth in the number of high net worth individuals over the past two years was fastest in southwest and central China.