Poor, Wealthy & Rich in China

Related entries: Consumer Market, News, Research

China may have low per capita incomes, but those figures hide the wealth that is concentrated at the top, as we have reported here and here, and in many other posts….

McKinsey recently reported on China’s Rich: “Coming of Age, China’s new class of wealthy consumers“. Washington Post reported:

    “In 2008, the report said China had 1.6 million wealthy households. By 2015, it will have more than 4 million, making it the world’s fourth-largest country in terms of its number of wealthy households after the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom. (McKinsey defines the number of wealthy households as urban households that make more than 250,000 RMB — about $36,500…

    The most interesting thing about the report is the argument that China’s rich are different. First, they’re younger. A lot younger. Eighty percent are under 45 compared with 30 percent in the United States and 19 percent in Japan.

    Second, they are getting rich quicker. About one-half of today’s wealthy consumers were not wealthy four years ago, and more than half of those who will be classified as wealthy in five to six years are not wealthy today…”

Some of them have become much, much wealthier already, as Rupert Hoogewerf, of the Hurun Report, explains on China Herald (h/t @fonstuinstra):

    “…the number of millionaires on the mainland in Renminbi has hit a record 825,000, says Rupert Hoogewerf in his latest Hurun report, writes the China Daily. More than 51,000 have even more than 100 million Renminbi.

    The China Daily: “According to the new report, the number of wealthy people with more than 10 million yuan in Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai made up nearly half of the total.

    …The report showed that average age of the millionaires was 39, and those people fell into four categories: businessmen, those with high-profile jobs such as celebrities, those who earned money from housing trades and professional stock investors.”

    Of course, the overall wealth issue needs context, and this article from Reuters is a reminder that issues are rarely black and white in China:

    “China the new power holds $2 trillion in foreign reserves, including about $1 trillion in U.S. debt, and increasingly lectures rich nations on economic management. Developing China has tens of millions of rural poor among its 1.3 billion people and falls in the same World Bank per capita income rankings as Cameroon and Guatemala.”

The wealth of the nation is so great because of the great number of people. Only a few (and that is a relative term!) of the 1.3 billion make the grade for McKinsey and Hurun reports, and for international business.

China will continue to work on the dream of a “harmonious” society, and to remind more developed countries that the low per capita numbers need to be taken into account when calculating China’s contributions.

4 Responses to “Poor, Wealthy & Rich in China”

  1. Archive » Briefly….Top Ten Tweets (Stimulating Times For Autos, Adverts, Regional Cities, Regions Near And Far, Risks, And Rich Barbie Buyers).| China Business Blog Says:

    […] Also see our blog post here. […]

  2. patmcghee008 Says:

    I like your post…china now is really one of the rich country in the world even though they are one of the biggest population in the world…but I think in this populated country it is a requirement that the people here should undergo a criminal background check..because many of the populated country are prone to crimes and violence….

  3. Archive » Briefly…Top Ten Tweets (From Obamao, Experts & Oxymorons To Emerged Economies, Consumer Wealth & A Blushing Barbie)| China Business Blog Says:

    […] Comment: There are plenty of rich people in China, but like most Chinese statistics, while the percentages may be small, the absolute numbers are large. The wealth divide is a sticky political issue, and one that the government is working hard to address. More news on wealthy consumers is here. […]

  4. Archive » Briefly…Top Ten Tweets (From First Half Figures, Intensity & Investment, To IP, Successes & Shades of Grey)| China Business Blog Says:

    […] well as its economic rebalancing and promotion of domestic consumption. While we have covered the millionaires, middle classes, workers on these pages before, this time we highlight the demographic shift (as pointed our in a Reuters […]

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