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17% of the Chinese rich facing legal trouble

17% of the Chinese rich facing legal trouble

A recent story in The Atlantic described the many legal troubles that China’s billionaires have run into as a result of corruption and fraudulent behavior, according to IBTimes website on Feb 1.
A study based on recent editions of the China Rich List, provided by Hurun Report, a magazine about wealth in China, found that 17 percent of those listed were being investigated or had been arrested for various white-collar crimes. Some even ended up executed.
According to the report, the nation has seen exponential growth in the number of billionaires. In just six years China went from having just 15 billionaires (in yuan) into roughly 250. Rankings are based on legally declared wealth; many speculate that several of China’s wealthiest are worth as much as double what they report officially.
As China Daily was quoted, in 2011 a Chinese billionaire died every 40 days, and 72 billionaires had died between 2003 and 2011. Of these, 15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died due to accidents, and 19 died from illness. The remaining 14, however, were executed for crimes including murder.
According to Bloomberg, in 2006, tycoon Yuan Baojing, once valued at the equivalent of $360 million, was executed for hiring a hit man to kill a blackmailer who cost him an estimated $11 million.
In China, some financial crimes are capital, and that's what happened to Wang Zhendong, chairman of Yingkou Trading Group, who was executed in 2008 for luring investors into a scam that involved breeding ants.
Billionaire status is typically not fleeting; losing billions of dollars in a short period is not an easy feat, yet several of China’s billionaires end up falling from wealth as quickly as they found it.
According to The Atlantic, “just under half of the 1,000 richest have seen their wealth shrink, with 37 of them enduring losses of over 50 percent. Overall, there were 20 fewer billionaires in 2012 than in the year before.”
But unstable finances do not afflict only the nation’s rich. China’s middle class has adopted a culture of sometimes reckless spending. China has become a burgeoning market for luxury brands, and citizens are quite literally buying into it.
With very few investment options in a risky stock market, or in the overpriced real estate market, many citizens are splurging on fancy cars and designer goods, seeing money go as quickly as it comes.

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