Rich making plans to emigrate

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, December 18, 2012
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One in three Chinese entrepreneurs with personal assets of more that 100 million yuan (US$16 million) has emigrated and about half of the total number are considering leaving the country, according to a report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences yesterday.

In March, the number of Chinese entrepreneurs on the mainland worth more than 100 million was 63,500, the report said. Their average age was 41.

The report said China was experiencing its third large wave of emigration, after students in the 1980s who decided to remain abroad and workers who left China to find work in the 1990s and early this century.

More than 80 percent of China's wealthy who applied to emigrate said that their main reason was to seek better education for their children, the report said.

Ensuring the safety of their assets was the second concern for rich Chinese, said the report, resulting in a growing number of emigrants looking for a safer investment environment.

Pursuit of better quality of life comes as the third reason for them to emigrate.

According to the report, nearly 60 percent of Chinese whose personal assets exceeded 10 million yuan had plans to emigrate or had already left the country.

Last year, the number of Chinese people who had acquired permanent residence abroad was more than 150,000. Of those, 87,017 had moved to the United States. Other popular destinations were Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Unlike the first two waves of emigration, the third is made up of the rich and intellectual elite moving abroad through "investment immigration," bringing considerable assets, the report said.

Many excelled in their professions and were pioneers in their industries. They invested in real estate, foreign currency deposits and shares after immigration. Their average age was between 30 and 40, which allowed them to create more wealth for the countries they had gone to, the report said.

"Their departure will be a great loss for China. Many developing countries are facing this situation - a great loss of talent," said Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization and a co-editor of the report.

Wang said developing countries still had a lot of barriers making it difficult to attract international talent and entice native professionals to come back home.

By the end of 2010, the number of expats who had short-term or long-term residency in China exceeded 1 million. Yet only 4,725 expats had been given permanent residency by the end of 2011, the report said.

China has unveiled a series of plans to attract native talent to return and some have proved to be effective. But the government needs to improve some systems to retain local talent and prevent a brain drain, experts say.

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