By VICE News
China now has more billionaires than the United States, according to a new global rich list, and Beijing has overtaken New York as the billionaire capital of the world.
Hurun, a firm which tracks wealth in China and India, said the number of Chinese billionaires had risen 80 percent since 2013. Beijing now has 100 billionaires living in it, up 32 from last year, pushing it past New York which is in second place with 95.
Overall the US had dropped its number of billionaires by two while China had increased its number by 90 — accounting for almost all the 99 new billionaires created in 2015. India also had a good year, home to an extra 14 billionaires in 2015, putting it at third place.
Russia fared very badly, with a fall in 14 billionaires. Hurun found that Russian billionaires had lost $130bn over the year due to a fall in value of the ruble and poor returns in mining, metals, and energy.
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The country ranking reflected this drop, with Russia falling to sixth place with 80 billionaires in total, just below the UK and Germany with 82 each.
China and USA are the big two countries on the list with 568 and 535 respectively, amounting to almost half the billionaires on the planet. India is in third place with 111.
The richest person in the world is still Bill Gates, with a personal wealth of $80bn, despite have given away more than $20bn to charity to date. Investor Warren Buffet and Spanish fashion magnate Amancio Ortega come second and third.
The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has broken into the top ten for the first time after increasing his wealth by $16bn to $37 million. Donald Trump also increased his wealth, by $5bn, but while this was relatively low down the rankings at number 202, Hurun said this was a rise of 974 places.
No women feature in the top ten. One woman does feature in the top ten self-made billionaires under the age of 35 — Elizabeth Holmes, founder of the controversial blood-testing technology start-up Theranos.
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Five Chinese cities are now in the top 10 list of cities home to the greatest number of super wealthy people: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hangzhou are home to 100, 64, 50, 46, and 32 billionaires respectively.
Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of Hurun, said the wealth calculations had been made using stock prices on January 15, meaning they took into account the Chinese market’s 40 percent fall over the past six months, reported Associated Press.
He told AP that China’s wealth boom was down to Chinese market regulators allowing a flood of new share issues after holding back Initial Public Offerings for several years.
He highlighted the particularly 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,” Hoogewerf said. “People will look at China the same way that people looked at Stanford or Silicon Valley in the 1990s.” – Vice News