According to the Epoch Times, Chinese tycoons are now moving their wealth away from mainland China, and Singapore is one of their top choices.
According to Forbes’ Billionaires list, Chinese immigrants dominate Singapore’s rich list, with three of the top five being Chinese-born.
This year Li Xiting, 71, a naturalized Singapore citizen from Anhui Province in China, is the wealthiest man in Singapore, with a net worth of 16.5 billion dollars.
Singapore has been a favorite destination for many years for Chinese billionaires. However, in recent years the island has become the top place amid unpredictable factors in China. Especially during the pandemic, the trend is more evident.
Besides increasing numbers of billionaires, Xi Jinping’s recent “common prosperity” drive is another factor contributing to Chinese tycoons shifting their wealth out of the country. Common prosperity is an approach that aims to curb “excessive” income to reduce wealth inequality in China.
Hong Kong was the first choice of Chinese billionaires in the past, but now Singapore seems to have taken the lead.
Singapore has many advantages as it accommodates a large, one-language Chinese community and its permanent residence investor scheme. Besides, it imposes no tax on stock capital gains and dividends. Another plus point is the mobility during the epidemic.
Affluent Chinese frequently set up family offices when transferring money to Singapore. They are privately held enterprises that manage a wealthy family’s investment and wealth.
The island nation requires at least 5 million dollars in assets to establish a family office.
According to Singapore’s Economic Development Board, the country welcomed 400 such companies into the nation in 2020. In addition, an estimation from a CNBC survey found that local firms assisting family office establishments have grown by hundreds since then.
The most common asset that Chinese billionaires buy in the host country is residential property. For example, the Epoch Times reported that a Chinese tycoon from Fujian recently bought 20 units at Canninghill Piers, a luxury condominium in Singapore valued at about 61.2 million dollars.
However, it’s not just in Singapore; the Chinese are also buying real estate worldwide.
The U.S. is also a top choice for Chinese property buyers. Data shows that the Chinese remain the largest group of foreign residential property buyers. Chinese nationals, on average, buy between 20,000 to 40,000 residential properties each year. Since 2011 Chinese buyers have accounted for up to 16% of all foreign property sales in the U.S.
According to the Hurun Report, there were 3,381 billionaires worldwide with a total wealth of 15.2 trillion dollars earlier this year. Of those, 1,133 are from China, and 716 are from the U.S.
China surpassed the U.S. in the number of billionaires in 2016.