A Shadow Behind China’s Rich List
On September 11, the Chinese authorities
released the latest “2013 Hurun Rich List".
The top five richest saw their wealth doubled. The top
50 richest have assets worth at least 18 billion Yuan.
In China, the gap between rich and poor has
rapidly widened, but tycoon wealth is still soaring.
Relations between the high-level leadership
and business is becoming a public focus again.
According to the latest Hurun’s rich list, Wang Jianlin
has been ranked as number one for the first time.
Wang is in charge of Dalian Wanda Group, and
has a fortune of 135 billion Yuan ($22 billion).
The Shanghai Composite Index
has fallen 1.7% year-on-year.
However, the top 1,000 richest people had their wealth
increase on average of 18.5%, or 6.4 billion Yuan.
The top 50 richest people reached 18 billion Yuan,
which is the highest growth ever.
Xing Tianxing, current affairs commentator:
In China, people can’t afford to see a doctor.
Some people struggle to pay for their food.
The increase of tycoons’ wealth precisely reflects
that the Chinese economy is far from normal.
Xing Tianxing: “China’s wealth is increasingly
being seized in the hands of the few elite.
This abnormal system gives opportunities
to the privileged class and businessmen.
They use the privileged class to seize
wealth, and their fortune rapidly increases."
Zhang Jian, China affairs expert, said that in China, support
from officials must be behind tycoon-level businessmen.
Zhang Jian: “Government officials colluded with
businessmen, and stole the majority of national resources.
They exploited civilian’s interests and re-distributed then.
They send their families and relatives
abroad, and live an extravagant life."
A “China International Migration" reported on rich
whose personal assets are more than 10 million Yuan.
60% of them had completed an investment
immigrant, or have relevant considerations.
Hurun’s report in 2012 reported that more than
85% of the rich sent their children to study abroad.
At the end of August, media in Mainland
China reported more than 100 well-know
private business owners were punished.
23 of them had been listed in the Forbes or Hurun Rich List.
Some of them served as representative
entrepreneurs at the CCP Two Sessions.
Xing Tianxing: “No matter who the new leader is, he must go
through an anti-corruption campaign to remove some people.
These people don’t link too much with his own interests,
and also those who pose a threat to his power.
This is certainly associated with some of
the entrepreneurs who were punished.
For businessmen, they feel they have no other choice."
In June, Wang Jianlin complained to the media:
“Now interest groups, state-owned enterprises
and state-owned resources are too powerful.
This resulted in the cost of starting a
business to become increasingly high.
Thus, China needs a determined and practical reform."
Zhang Jian: “In China, all tycoons have
a government group supporting them.
The reason for the removal of these businessmen, is not
because they committed crimes during business dealings.
It is because they stood in the wrong line."
At the end of August, former Politburo
member Bo Xilai was put on trial,
Xu Ming, a Dalian businessman who
was jailed last year, was exposed.
In the 1990s, Xu became a billionaire
after he managed to get support from Bo.
In 2005, Xu was listed the fifth
richest Chinese person in Forbes.
Xing Tianxing: “If China is a country ruled by law,
businessmen don’t have to rely on the power class.
If one is mistreated by power class,
he can use the law to protect himself."
Zhang Jian said that people who appeared in
China’s Rich List could face punishment at any time.
Under the CCP system, no one feels safe.