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    Jun 09, 2014

    China's super-rich want to up and leave


    THE passion shown by China's super-rich for settling down abroad has reached a record high, a report says.

    The proportion of Chinese high-net-worth individuals with personal wealth of at least 6 million yuan (S$1.2 million) who said they want to emigrate has risen to 64 per cent, from 60 per cent a year ago, it said.

    The Immigration and Chinese High Net Worth Individuals 2014 white paper was released by the Hurun Report and immigration agency Visas Consulting Group.

    Of those who have emigrated or are applying to do so, 66 per cent said they would consider obtaining a foreign passport after moving abroad.

    The survey polled 141 super-rich Chinese with an average personal wealth of 42 million yuan.

    The finding was described as "quite surprising" by Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, who said it showed that China was becoming "more international".

    The main reason for wealthy Chinese families to emigrate is to get better education for their children, with 21 per cent of the super-rich polled saying this was their chief concern.

    However, worries over pollution and food safety have been increasing, accounting for 20 per cent and 19 per cent of respondents, respectively.

    The United States is the most popular emigration destination, with 51 per cent of respondents stating this preference.

    Nearly 70 per cent of the super-rich surveyed have bought overseas properties to live in, while only 33 per cent bought them purely as investments.

    Song Jianning, 53, general manager of the Chinese branch of a German company in Shanghai, spent about US$1 million (S$1.3 million) on a detached villa in Washington in 2011, so that his two-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter can "move there at an earlier age".