Wang Jianlin: sitting pretty

Twice in the last few years, Zong Qinghou of Wahaha, China’s drinks king, has been the country’s richest man. This year, according to the Hurun Rich List released today, his fortune has swelled by half.

But despite that, he’s lost pride of place to a man who doesn’t make much of anything – except making sure that people around the world have a place to watch movies, shop and buy yachts. Read more

These are hard times for Chinese government officials, it seems: corruption just isn’t what it used to be.

At least that’s the headline finding of Tuesday’s Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey 2013, which discovered that super-premium Chinese liquor (Moutai) and top end luxury watches are no longer the Chinese millionaire’s favourite gifts. Read more

China’s billionaires and millionaires have long suspected that inclusion in China’s Hurun Rich List is bad for business. They worry that a high-profile ranking can often be followed by a high-profile knock on the door from the tax department, or worse.

Now, Chinese academics have published evidence which suggests that the rich are right to be concerned. Hurun-listed entrepreneurs are more likely to be arrested than their unlisted rivals – and, whether or not they are taken away for questioning, the mere fear that they might be can hit their share prices. Moral for investors – sell the listed, buy the unlisted. Read more

It seems that the slowdown in the Chinese property market is hitting even those at the very top.

For the first time since it was launched in 1999, the annual Hurun Rich List of wealthy Chinese shows that manufacturing has overtaken property as the biggest source of wealth.

Manufacturing gets to number by one by a sliver, accounting for the wealth of 20.1 per cent of the 1,000 listed billionaires and millionaires on the list compared with 19.8 per cent for property. But in a league table, every point counts. Read more

It will come as no surprise that rich Chinese have developed a taste these days for private jets. It is a short step, in China, from Gucci to Gulfstream: according to a survey of China’s richest people, released by the Hurun report at the Asian Business Aviation Conference Asian Business Aviation Conference in Shanghai, 13 per cent of Chinese with personal assets over Rmb100m plan to buy a corporate jet. Read more

It takes courage to suggest a ban on official tippling of Moutai – China’s most luxurious liquor – right before Chinese New Year. This is the season of official banquets, ahead of a week-long public holiday to celebrate the lunar new year, or spring festival.

But this is also the week when a Shanghai legislator suggested prohibiting moutai at such banquets, in response to public criticism. Read more