Asia Briefing: Tycoons gather at Communist Party congress in Beijing
24-year-old Hong Konger is world’s youngest billionaire
China’s President Xi Jinping (R) and Premier Li Keqiang (L) arrive for the opening session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.
One of the headlines that emerged in the run-up to the National People’s Congress was that the parliamentary gathering is also one of the wealthiest in the world – there are 86 dollar billionaires attending the NPC, and 59 attending the advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
The figures come from the Hurun rich list released recently. The true figure is probably higher, but tycoons often like to keep their heads down – in recent years many of those appearing near the top of the Hurun list have ended up in jail on corruption or theft charges. Capitalist entrepreneurs were only allowed take part in the “two conferences” or “liang hui” in 2003, but they have certainly left an impression.
And according to calculations by the Financial Times , the richest members of the NPC and the advisory panel saw their average wealth increase more than four times over the past eight years, compared with an increase of under three times for the 1,000 wealthiest people identified in the country.
One intriguing fact to emerge from the Hurun wealth list is that a “secretive” 24-year-old Hong Kong property heir, Perenna Kei Hoi-ting, also known as Ji Peili, has been named the world’s youngest billionaire. A graduate of the University of London, she has knocked Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz off the top spot as this year’s youngest entrant, debuting at number 1,284 with an estimated net wealth of €940 million. She holds 85 per cent of Logan Property, which listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in December last year, and of which her father, Ji Haipeng, is the chairman and CEO.
The second highest number of billionaires on the Forbes list recently came from Mainland China, which is not surprising given that it’s the world’s second largest economy.