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China's New Rich 'Shockingly' Young
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China's new rich are exceptionally younger than those in its neigboring countries and they are more keen on investing in the country's booming real estate market, a survey by credit card company MasterCard said.

MasterCard surveyed 900 people and interviewed 300 families in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou whose annual income are above US$16,000.

The survey showed that at least one quarter are among the affluent by internationally recognized standards, who earn more than US$50,000 annually.

Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, MasterCard's economic advisor, said the Chinese affluent people are "shockingly young" compared with their counterparts in developed countries, citing the survey results that 64 percent of the rich people are from 31 to 46 years old.

Statistics showed that about 70 percent of the Japanese rich are older than 45 years old. In another developing nation, the Philippines, 95 percent of the rich are older than 45.

Wong analyzed that young employees of multinational companies, senior members of the management of state-owned enterprises and business people in the private sector are the bulk of the Chinese urban rich.

The survey also indicated that every household of the affluent population own at least one apartment. Some 26 percent of the surveyed each have bought three apartments, or a villa, and eight percent bought four apartments.

Most affluent people expect that investment in apartments would make them wealthier in the thriving Chinese real estate market, Wong said. Meanwhile, they also have other channels for earn profits, such as securities, for financial investment.

The affluent people, according to the survey, usually favor spending more time with their families. They value happy families as "the most important for a successful life."

Some 73.6 percent of the surveyed said they are willing to donate for charity.

A total of 92.6 percent affluent people spent more than US$10,000 in traveling in 2006. Hong Kong, Macao, Thailand, Singapore and Japan were usually their favorite destinations.

(Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2007)

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