Leaked!! – The Ultra Rich And Powerful Chinese Who Stash Money Offshore

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Jan 14 2015
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About 10-years ago in 2004, United States had 274 billionaires while China only had pathetic 3 billionaires. Fast forward 10-years later in 2014, America was still the champion with 492 billionaires. However, China had improved unbelievably with 354 billionaires – 388 if you care to include billionaires from Hong Kong – an achievement of a staggering 11,700%, as compared to U.S.’s 79%.

China Ultra Rich and Powerful - Carrying Cash

If the above is not enough to raise your eyebrows, perhaps this will – there’re an estimated 60,000 Chinese people (and we’re talking about mainland China alone) with net worth of at least US$200 million (£132 million; RM715 million). According to Hurun and Forbes list of billionaires, the freaking rich Chinese is projected to overtake United States as the country with the most number of billionaires, in another 2-years.


However, the number of billionaires in China could have already exceeded the official number of 492 billionaires in U.S. because some of them do not wish to report their wealth or simply secretive about their fortune. It’s a public knowledge that China is the most corrupted country on planet Earth. Hence, tons of government officials guard their little secret – unexplainable wealth – very seriously.

China Ultra Rich and Powerful - Top 10 Chinese Cities by Number of Millionaires

Hurun Wealth Report revealed last year that there were more than 1 million millionaires, with at least RMB10 million (US$1.6 million, £1 million; RM5.8 million). As expected, about 50% of millionaires were private business owners, while 15% of millionaires (160,000) have made their money in the property market. About 20% who joined the millionaire club were senior executives working at multinationals as well as local China companies.

China Ultra Rich and Powerful - Girls Sitting on Sports Car

Interestingly, there’s one glaring trend that almost every ultra-rich Chinese people do. They do not keep their money in mainland China but store their huge amount of wealth offshore, either to avoid taxes or to hide their secret business dealings. Since 2000, an estimated US$1 trillion to US$4 trillion were siphoned out of the country. Last year, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has revealed some shocking discoveries.

China Elite With Secretive Offshore Companies - The Red Nobility Politicians

China’s elites were aggressively using offshore havens to hold assets, list companies in the world’s stock exchanges, buy and sell real estate and conduct their business away from Beijing’s red tape and capital controls. There were at least 37,000 offshore set up secretly either by the Chinese politicians or the wealthy business owners, which involved at least 15 of China’s richest men and women and relatives of China top politician leaders.

China Elite With Secretive Offshore Companies - The Wealthy

However, the ICIJ’s Offshore Leaks data were so damaging to China that an encrypted message from an editor in Beijing had been sent to ICIJ warning them to discontinue their work in the offshore project. That’s not surprising and it’s not hard to see why. The cache of 2.5 million leaked files that ICIJ has sifted through with help from more than 50 reporting partners in Europe, North America, Asia and other regions could spell disasters to the Chinese Communist Party.


For example, the confidential files include details of a real estate company co-owned by current President Xi Jinping’s brother-in-law and British Virgin Islands companies set up by former Premier Wen Jiabao’s son and also by his son-in-law. Or the secret about how Swiss financial giant Credit Suisse helped Wen Jiabao’s son create his BVI company while his father was leading the country.

Xi Jinping

One may argue that being a communist country, the corruption is the last thing the people would care. But without realising it, the country has moved from an insular communist system to a socialist or capitalist hybrid. And top-level corruption is a politically sensitive issue in China as the country’s economy cools and its wealth gap continues to widen. Their favourite tax havens – Caribbean British Virgin Islands.

China Ultra Rich and Powerful - Favourite Tax Havens

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