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 The wealth of Chinese super-rich persons has declined due to the economic slump with the number of affluent Chinese individuals going down by 11 per cent from last year and their total wealth shrinking by 18 per cent, China Daily reported.

The new Hurun Research Institute report released on Tuesday, reported that the number of affluent Chinese individuals is down 11 per cent from last year. Their total wealth has also shrunk 18 per cent year-on-year to 24.5 trillion yuan.

The report further added that a total of 1,305 individuals with a minimum personal wealth of 5 billion yuan entered the Hurun China Rich List 2022.

Meanwhile, Zhong Shanshan, founder of bottled water company Nongfu Spring again topped the list for the second time, followed by TikTok founder Zhang Yiming and CATL founder Zeng Yuqun.

However, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming may have secured the second position in the list but his wealth fell 28 per cent to USD 35 billion. Battery King” Zeng Yuqun, 54, also saw his wealth down 28 per cent to $32.9 billion, albeit remaining in the Top 3, according to the Global Times citing Hurun.

In general, only 411 entrepreneurs saw their wealth increase this year, of which 133 were new faces. As many as 1,187 entrepreneurs saw their wealth decrease or remain unchanged and 293 dropped off the rich list this year.

According to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report’s chairman and chief researcher, this has been the biggest fall in the Hurun China Rich List in 24 years, in both the metrics of overall number and total wealth.

“Part of the reason has been a global economic downturn, led by the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, a sharp drop in tech prices, and the generally slow post-COVID economic recovery,” China Daily quoted Hoogewerf as saying.

Meanwhile, Hang Seng Index and Shenzhen Component Index have both shed by more than 20 per cent compared with the same period last year, while the Shanghai Composite Index is down by over 10 per cent. Public companies’ market valuation has slashed amid indexes slides, resulting in record-low numbers in the rich list, he added.

According to Financial Post, the Chinese economy is facing severe downward pressure and a plethora of problems that do not appear to be surmountable in the near and short terms.

Notably, in the first half of the year, China recorded only 2.5 per cent growth over the past year, one of the lowest in three decades. Retail sales were 0.7 per cent less in the first half than the previous year after plunging 11 per cent in April.

China’s slowdown has been worse than anticipated amid Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns, and there have been further negative spill overs from the war in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, European corporate investment in China is slackening as the country’s real estate market is slumping, consumer spending drying up because of stringent “Covid zero” policies, as well as American investment is also faltering because of geopolitical tensions.

The signs are ominous for the Chinese economy as foreign investments are limited to a handful of multinationals, reported The Straits Times.

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