Almost half of wealthy people in China want to leave to live in another country as they don’t like the system in their own country, especially the country’s one child policy.
They also want to get away from high living costs, a weak legal system, pollution, corruption, food safety concerns and poor medical treatment.
But it is education that is the driving force to up sticks and leave with 60% wanting to move abroad so that their children can get a better education, a survey by the Bank of China and the Hurun Report has found. Some 14% have already left the country of filed immigration applications.
Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and publisher of the Hurun Report, said respondents with assets of 100 million or more were even more inclined to emigrate, with 55% considering leaving China, and 21% already living overseas or having filed applications.
The Chinese economy may be booming and the rich enjoying a lifestyle that was unimaginable a decade ago but they strive for better conditions.
But they have not lost faith in their country. Many Chinese millionaires considering emigrating intended to keep their capital invested in China. China’s tight capital controls make it hard for rich Chinese to move their money out of the country. Under Beijing’s currency rules for example, anyone leaving can only carry with them a maximum of 20,000 yuan or the equivalent of US$5,000 in foreign currency.
The top destination among those emigrating was the United States, accounting for 40% of those wishing to emigrate, followed by Canada with 37%, Singapore with 14% and Europe with 11%, the survey showed.
The survey, conducted in May to September, covered 18 major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Nanjing, Dalian and Suzhou, and interviewed respondents with an average age of 42 and average personal assets of 60 million yuan.
Another survey published in April by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co showed that almost 60% of high net worth individuals in China had either arranged for, or were considering emigration. Of those, more than 20% had already completed their immigration applications, or made the decision to apply.
China Merchants Bank and Bain estimated that in 2010 there were 500,000 people in China with individual investable assets valued at 10 million yuan and 20,000 people with 100 million yuan or more.