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Shanghai may be China’s commercial capital, but Beijing has 33,000 more millionaires, according to the latest Hurun Rich List of China’s ultra-high net worth individuals, which was released on Thursday. Overall the home to China’s highest ranking politicians also came in first for wealthy individuals with 17.6 percent of the country’s total millionaires living there.

China top 20 cities for millionairesHome cities for Chinese individuals with assets of RMB 10M or more. Source: Hurun Report

The report, which is compiled by examining the declared assets of China’s wealthy, reveals that Beijing is now tops in China for individuals with a personal net worth of RMB 10 million ($1.6 million) or more, with 192,000 of these fortunate individuals having chosen to cluster around the seat of China’s central government.

In Shanghai, which is the nation’s financial hub, and has traditionally competed with Guangdong province as the centre for industry, there are 159,000 of these high rollers, making the city of more than 20 million people the second biggest centre for China’s wealthy. Shanghai is home to 14.6 percent of China’s millionaires.

Rounding out China’s top ten towns for high net worth individuals were Shenzhen with 50,400, Guangzhou with 45,900, Hangzhou with 343,000, Ningbo with 23,300, Foshan with 21,600, Tianjin with 20,600, Suzhou with 18,900 and Dongguan with 18,000.

This year the Hurun list recorded a 3.8 percent increase in the number of wealthy people in China, bringing the list of China’s financial elites to 1,090,000. The report also tracked what it calls the super-rich – people with assets of RMB 100 million or more – and found that the number of these fat cats had swelled by 3.7 percent to 67,000 compared to last year.

The report attributed the increases in wealthy people to the country’s overall GDP growth and appreciation in the value of real estate.

Where the Wealth Comes From

In the report Hurun divides China’s wealthy into four baskets – private business owners, professional stock market investors, real estate investors and high-salaried executives.

55 percent of the total millionaires run their own businesses, and 15 percent of the people who made the list primarily invest in real estate to build their wealth. With China’s stock market continuing to underperform this year, stock market investors accounted for only 10 percent of the millionaire tally, while highly paid executives filled in the other 20 percent.

Who’s on Top

Dalian Wanda Wang Jianlin
Dalian Wanda’s Wang Jianlin relocated to Beijing after his business began to take off

The list released last week gave only macro-level data on the number of millionaires and their locations, but did not yet release the names of the individuals leading the ranks of China’s super-wealthy.

Last year, Wang Jianlin, boss of real estate developer Dalian Wanda led the list with an estimated personal net worth of $22 billion, with soft-drink magnate Zong Qinghou in second with a fortune said to total $18.7 billion.

In the run-up to Alibaba’s much anticipated IPO this week some wealth trackers have indicated that the Internet giant’s boss, Jack Ma, may now lead China’s billionaires with personal assets estimated by Bloomberg at $21.8 billion.

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