China Set to Lose a Record 15,000 Millionaires in 2024: Report

Top destinations for wealthy Chinese immigrants include the United States, Canada, Singapore, and in recent years, Japan.
China Set to Lose a Record 15,000 Millionaires in 2024: Report
Travellers board a flight plane at Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai, China, on May 28, 2019. (Hector Retamal/ AFP via Getty Images)

A record number of millionaires are projected to leave communist China this year, a development that could impact the country’s already struggling economy, according to a new report.

China is on track to lose approximately 15,200 millionaires in 2024, more than any other nation in the world and eclipsing the country’s previous record of 13,800 set in 2023, according to a June 18 report by Henley & Partners, a British investment immigration consultancy.

The traditional top destinations for wealthy Chinese seeking a better life include the United States, Canada, and Singapore. In recent years, however, a growing number of affluent Chinese have been considering Japan.

Slowing economic growth and geopolitical tensions are among the factors that drive Chinese millionaires to seek new horizons, Dominic Volek, the company’s head of private clients, said in the report.

The unprecedented exodus of affluent Chinese and their assets could exacerbate the nation’s economic challenges.

“General wealth growth in the country has been slowing over the past few years, which means that these outflows could be more damaging than usual,” immigration analysts said in the report.

China’s economy is experiencing an unbalanced post-pandemic recovery, according to China analysts. While China’s exports and manufacturing sectors improved, domestic demand remains weak, stoking tensions with its trade partners. Western governments and some emerging economies worry about a growing wave of cheap China-made products imports that they say threaten jobs and businesses in their domestic market.
As the Chinese Communist Party continues to focus on ramping up production in its alternative energy sector, the United States announced in May that it plans to impose a 100 percent tariff on electrical vehicles (EVs) imported from China in 2024.
Earlier this month, the European Union (EU) imposed extra import levies on China-made EVs. In response, China’s commerce ministry on June 17 initiated an anti-dumping investigation into pork imported from the EU, escalating tensions between China and the bloc’s 27 member states. Some analysts warn about a potential trade war between Brussels, Washington, and Beijing that could further dampen China’s economic growth.
Meanwhile, the real estate sector, once China’s pillar of economic growth, continues to deteriorate.
In April, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook on China’s economy from stable to negative, though it kept sovereign bonds at an A+ rating. The agency cited the rising risks to the country’s public finances sector as the Chinese authorities cope with mounting local government debt and transition from a growth model that relies heavily on the troubled property sector.

Top Destinations

While the United Arab Emirates ranks as the world’s most attractive place for migrating millionaires—mainly due to its zero-income tax, luxury lifestyle, and “golden visa” program that grant foreigners long-term, renewable residency in the Gulf state—China’s millionaires prefer finding a new home in the United States, Canada, and nearby Singapore, according to the report.

Henley & Partners expects the United States to see a net inflow of 3,800 high-net-worth individuals, but it does not provide a breakdown of their nationalities. High-net-worth individuals refer to people with liquid investable assets of $1 million or more.

In recent years, Canada has seen a “significant increase” in its Chinese population, particularly in British Columbia, according to Misha Glenny, a journalist and rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna.

“Vancouver has become one of the most desirable destinations in North America, growing by over a quarter of a million people in the past decade, with new businesses springing up everywhere and housing costs rocketing,” Mr. Glenny said in the Henley & Partners report.

In addition to these traditional hotspots, Japan has emerged as a new destination for immigration following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report. Chinese billionaires have increasingly been heading to metropolitan areas such as Tokyo.

“The lifestyle in Japan is very appealing... Furthermore, despite a tough past decade, Japan’s overall economy is showing signs of recovery,” the report states.

Dorothy Li is a reporter for The Epoch Times, covering China's politics, international relationships, security, and society. Contact Dorothy at [email protected].