Thousands of millionaires are fleeing mainland China, bringing with them billions of dollars out of the country. So where are they moving to?

Henley & Partners is a London-based investment immigration consulting company. Singapore’s Lianhe Zaobao cited a Henley report revealing that about 4,200 high-net-worth individuals in China migrated abroad in the first half of 2022.

They are among about 10,000 high-net-worth Chinese individuals who are seeking opportunities to move to other countries. 

The preferred countries for their migration are the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Henley & Partners said while they are not sure of the exact number of the rich Chinese who will flee to Singapore this year, the number should be over 500 for the whole year. The wealth transferred with them is estimated to be at least $2.4 billion.

The consulting firm pointed out that, among the 10,000 millionaires seeking migration, each is expected to bring with them about $4.8 million on average. As a result, as much as $48 billion in wealth is estimated to flow outside of China.

Globally, the Henley Global Citizens Report revealed that about 88,000 wealthy investors are expected to move by the end of 2022. The wealthy are on the move partly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In mainland China, the rich people have been spending a lot of money to move abroad, and buying a golden passport has become popular.

Qatar-headquartered Al Jazeera published an exclusive report in 2020. It pointed out that Cyprus issued a total of 1,400 golden passports between 2017 and 2019. More than 500 of them were issued to Chinese.

The list included Yang Huiyan, the female head of property developer giant Country Garden, the richest woman in Asia.

According to Forbes magazine’s 2020 list of the world’s richest women, Yang Huiyan ranks sixth with an estimated asset of $20.3 billion. Her assets mainly come from her father, Country Garden founder Yang Guoqiang, who is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

It is not illegal to apply for another country’s passport or permanent residence status in mainland China, but the mainland does not recognize dual nationality. In other words, theoretically, after migrating to another country, a person will no longer be able to retain Chinese nationality.

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