There are many Beijing billionaires, enough to knock New York out of the top spot for cities. The Chinese capital added an incredible 32 billionaires to its ranks last year, bringing the city’s total to 100, according to Hurun Report’s latest global rich list.
New York, which has led the ranking for years, has 95 billionaires.
“Despite its own slowdown and falling stock markets, China minted more new billionaires than any other country in the world last year, mainly on the back of new [share] listings,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Report.
Moscow (66), Hong Kong (64) and Shanghai (50) rounded out the top five cities by number of billionaires. Five of the top 10 cities were in China.
Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda, one of China’s top real estate developers, was the top Beijing resident on the list with a net worth of $26 billion. David Koch and Michael Bloomberg topped the list of New York billionaires.
Hoogewerf said the ranking almost certainly underestimated the amount of wealth in China, since many of the country’s billionaires fly below the radar in an effort to conceal wealth from the authorities. Hurun, he said, is only able to identify roughly 50% of the country’s billionaires.
“Think of it like an iceberg, the tip of it is much smaller than the whole,” he said. “We do our best to find [hidden money], but they go to such extraordinary lengths to hide it.”