China’s staggering levels of personal wealth continue to grow, with the number of billionaires in the country rising to 819 in the last 12 months, collectively having a net worth of $US2.5 trillion, according to the Hurun Global Rich List.
China now lays claim to having 40 per cent more billionaires than the second-ranked country, the United States, which has 571, the report said.
According to the list, there are now 2,694 billionaires in the world, up 437 from last year.
“A boom in China, a weak (US) dollar coupled with US tax cuts has driven billionaires to break new records,” report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said.
“China is going through an amazing period of entrepreneurship, adding 210 billionaires in the past year.”
The report showed real estate had produced 164 billionaires in China, followed by 159 in manufacturing.
China is also number one in the world for self-made billionaires, and is home to 80 per cent of the world’s self-made female billionaires.
Six of the top 10 cities for billionaires are located in China, led by Beijing with 131.
According to Hurun there are 80 billionaires in Hong Kong, 77 in Shenzhen, 70 in Shanghai and 38 in both Guangzhou and Hangzhou.
By comparison, there are 92 billionaires in New York, the second-ranked city.
Sydney was the only Australian city in the top 30, laying claim to 18 of the 41 billionaires in Australia.
While the USA trailed China significantly in the number of billionaires with 571, seven of the 10 richest people in the world live in the country.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos claimed the title of world’s richest man, with a personal wealth rising 71 per cent in 2017 to $US123 billion, eclipsing second-ranked Warren Buffet’s $US102 billion.
Tencent chief executive Pony Ma was again named China’s richest man, with his fortune growing by 114 per cent in 2017 to $US47 billion.
Evergrande’s Xu Jiayin was the second-ranked Chinese national, with an estimate fortune of $US41 billion.
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma was ranked 26th in the world, with a fortune of $US32 billion.