Mainland China is now home to one hundred and fifteen billionaires. Hong Kong has thirty five and Taiwan twenty five.
Furthermore, almost all the billionaires in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia are of Chinese decent.
The report found that the two hundred and thirteen billionaires of Chinese origin have a combined wealth of US$567 billion. This means that Chinese billionaires now account for over twelve percent of the world’s total wealth.
China’s wealth has been largely attributed to its growth in manufacturing, financial services and foreign real estate investment.
However, unlike western billionaires such as software giant Bill Gates who tend to focus on a specific industry, those of Chinese decent tend to be involved in a number of different businesses.
The report found that in Hong Kong the majority made their fortunes in real estate and financial services. Whereas in Taiwan the electronics industry dominated, with billionaires such as Cher Wang and Wenchi Chen who made their fortunes from the HTC phone brand.
"A circle of wealthy Chinese people is taking shape. Wherever the billionaires are residing, their businesses are getting more and more related with the opening up and fast growing market on China's mainland," commented Zhou Jiangong, chief editor of Forbes China.
"The development of residential projects, hotels, commercial properties and the quick urbanisation on China's mainland has provided an unprecedented feast of fortune," he added.
Hong Kong is home to three of the richest Chinese on the Forbes list; Li Kai-shing; the Kwok family headed by brothers Thomas and Raymond; and Lee Shau Kee. All three made their fortunes in the real estate business in mainland China.
Li Kai-shing is the chairman of Hutchinson Whampoa and Cheung Kong Holdings. He maintained his position as China’s richest man, growing his fortune by US$6 billion during 2010 to a total of US$26 billion.
Also on the list is Robin Li, the richest billionaire living on the Chinese mainland. His fortune of US$9.4 billion was made from China’s answer to Google, Baidu.
The USA still counts the largest number billionaires globally, with four hundred and thirteen. However, for the first time in over a decade Asia has more billionaires on the list than Europe, with three hundred and twenty two compared to Europe’s three hundred.
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