Coal mine city Yulin, a birthplace of billionaires

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There are currently about 7,000 billionaires in Shaanxi's Yulin city.

There are currently about 7,000 billionaires in Shaanxi's Yulin city.

The "Report on China's private capital investment" released recently showed that there were 4,000 billionaires in the coal mine counties - Shenmu and Fugu located in Yulin, a prefecture-level city with one district and eleven counties, located in northern Shaanxi Province. The total number of billionaires in Yulin has reached 7,000, according to a report from Chongqing Morning News on Thursday.

In 2010, Shenmu county ranked No. 44 and Fugu county ranked No. 91 in the top hundred economically strong counties in China. Hence, Yulin is regarded as a "Kuwait" in China by some media for its wealth.

A native from Shenmu county, surnamed Zhang, told the Global Times that Yulin had been developing rapidly in recent years. Huge modern buildings can be found in the busiest streets in Yulin city. The old houses are being demolished to be replaced by skyscrapers.

"In Yulin, it is very common to see luxury cars zipping by endlessly, from Lamborghinis and Bentleys to Ferraris and Porsches. Some rich people even feel ashamed to drive an Audi A6 car." She added, "They never balk at a car's price, even if the car costs one million yuan."

The cost of living has also become extremely high. Though a small county in scale, the housing prices in Shenmu county range from 6,000 yuan ($927.60) to 10,000 yuan ($1,546) per square meter, well matched with the "golden area" in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province. The average housing price in Yulin has increased by ten times in six years.

Furthermore, vegetable prices are significantly higher in the county. For example, cherries cost 40 yuan per jin (about 0.5 kg) in Shenmu county, but only ten yuan per jin in other cities in China.

"Though the number of rich people is increasing, their quality of life has not improved greatly. The modern recreational facilities in the area are relatively deficient. Rich people often feel headaches about where to spend their money. Their spiritual lives can't keep pace with the economic development," Zhang added.

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