Beijing overtakes New York as 'Billionaire Capital of the World'

Lens Technology founder Zhou Qunfei is China's richest woman. Photo: Olivia Martin-McGuire

Beijing: Move over New York City, Beijing is the new "Billionaire Capital of the World".

The Chinese capital has overtaken the Big Apple as home to the most billionaires, 100 to New York's 95, figures from Shanghai-based company Hurun, which releases yearly rankings and research about the 1 per cent, show.

The Hurun Global Rich List 2016 highlights how China's elite are continuing to accrue vast wealth despite a wobbling sharemarket and tepid economy.

Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin holds the top spot as China's richest man.

It has found China has overtaken the US with 568 billionaires to America's 535. That's an 80 per cent increase in the number of Chinese billionaires since 2013.

Wang Jianlin, 61, chairman of real estate property group Wanda, was again the richest Chinese with $US26 billion ($36 billion), ahead of Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Ka-shing, 87.

China's second-richest man is Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa. Photo: Bloomberg

Former No. 1 richest man, and the "Steve Jobs of China", Jack Ma, 51, of Alibaba was ranked fourth this year with $US21 billion.

Tom Cruise and Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma, who has slipped to fourth on China's rich list, at the Shanghai premiere of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Photo: Getty Images

In the list of countries, India was in third place, with 11 billionaires; 14 more than last year.

Beijing took the "Billionaire Capital" title from New York after minting 32 new billionaires last year, while New York gained four.

Another four Chinese cities – Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou – made the world's top 10.

Moscow came in third place, with 66 billionaires, while Hong Kong and Shanghai came in fourth and fifth with 64 and 50, respectively.

The list says the world has 2188 billionaires, a 50 per cent increase in three years. Of those, 630 are of Chinese origin, including 470 from mainland China, 60 from Hong Kong, 56 from south-east Asia and 34 from Taipei. Only eight are from the US and one each from Canada and France.

The top 1 per cent holds an estimated total wealth of $US7.3 trillion, which, the report notes, is more than the German and British gross domestic products combined.

The fifth annual ranking also found China leads the self-made women group: 93 of the 124 self-made women in the world are Chinese.

Zhou Qunfei, founder of Lens Technology and nicknamed China's "touchscreen queen", topped that list in October with a $US7.8 billion fortune.

Source Credit: SMH

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