Anyone who CAN is now LEAVING CHINA!
Posted in the China Forum
#1 Feb 19, 2014
China's rich beat a path to foreign shores
Legal uncertainty and appalling pollution at home are prompting wealthy Chinese to move themselves and their money abroad. They are encouraged by other countries prepared to grant residency in return for investment.
It is possible to make a great deal of money under "Chinese-style socialism" - either legally, or illegally. Last year the Boston Consulting Group, a management consultancy, estimated that there were more than one million Chinese dollar millionaires. This means that, in the ranking of countries with the most millionaires, China is in third place.
Now, a poll of 400 of the Chinese millionaires has revealed that 65 percent want to leave the country where they made their money, or are at least trying to get a residence permit to live elsewhere. Often, they send their families on ahead. According to the poll by the Shanghai company Hurun, 30 percent already have a permit to live abroad.
So what is it that's driving the millionaires to flee? In an interview with DW, Kristin Kupfer from the Mercator Institute of China Studies in Berlin cited three main motives. "Legal uncertainty is one reason," she said. "Then they are looking for a better educational environment for their children, and a third reason is the very bad environmental situation in China."
Competition for capital refugees
Countries around the world are paving the way for these Chinese wealth refugees, offering special programs that issue residence permits in exchange for investment. Australia, the US and the EU are effectively competing to welcome moneyed Chinese.
Two Chinese women on a yacht
Many countries are trying to attract China's new wealthy class
Crisis-stricken Portugal started a "Golden Visa" program in 2012, under which the purchase of a property worth at least 500,000 euros will get you a residence permit.
Last year, 90 percent of applicants were from China and Hong Kong. In September last year, Spain implemented an almost identical program.
Greece and Cyprus already hand out residence permits for the purchase of a property worth 250,000 euros. In Hungary, you can buy residency by investing 250,000 euros in a five-year state fund. Even the Netherlands has jumped on the bandwagon: an investment of 1.25 million euros in the Dutch economy will entitle you to live in the country.
#2 Feb 19, 2014
Hong Kong as a bridgeheadUnder Chinese law, citizens are forbidden to export more than 50,000 US dollars per year, but this seems to make little difference. The researcher Kristin Kupfer cites revelations connected to "Offshore Leaks," according to which there are more than 21,000 Chinese offshore companies in barely-regulated tax havens in the Caribbean. A lot of the money flows through Hong Kong. "The city serves as a bridgehead for money transfers abroad," Kupfer says.
Not surprisingly, China is critical of the mega-rich leaving the country, particularly in view of widespread corruption.
Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor at the Beijing's People's University of China, summarized the attitude in an interview with DW: "Deng Xiaoping said that some people are initially allowed to become rich - but that this wealth should be achieved through honest work," he explained. "However, many of the mega-rich only achieved their wealth through nepotism, embezzlement of government money, and speculation. Now they want to move their money abroad, where it will be safe."
But the lack of legal certainty is even driving people who achieved their wealth legally to move their money - entrepreneur Zhang Lan, for example. She made a fortune with the restaurant chain "South Beauty," and was even a representative at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Last year it was revealed that she was also in possession of a Canadian passport. After that, she became the target of anger online.
But Kupfer, the sinologist from Berlin, says she also observed sympathetic reactions from some Chinese internet users, many of whom would also like to escape their bad living conditions - if they only could.
#3 Feb 20, 2014
A steady stream is now becoming a FLOOD!
#4 Feb 27, 2014
Toxic smog 'driving China's brightest overseas'
Chinas president vows to strike back against pollution as state media claims the countrys brightest and best are being driven overseas by smog
By Tom Phillips, Shanghai9:58AM GMT 27 Feb 2014
Toxic smog is forcing a growing number of Chinese into overseas exile, state media has claimed, as the president vowed to attack the root causes of pollution after days of putrid skies in Beijing.
Pollution was driving the affluent and bright overseas since they saw no immediate end to the smog, the Global Times newspaper said in a front page article.
The trend of smog emigration is expected to continue, as improvements to air pollution through economic restructuring will not take effect in the short term.
As hazardous smog covered Beijing this week, relocation agencies used the opportunity to promote their business, the Global Times said.
Among those companies was Beijing-based Kino International whose website claimed pollution was creating a fourth wave of Chinese emigration.
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China's countrymen struggling with a 'sick' Mother Earth 23 Feb 2013
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Chinese city of Harbin shrouded in smog 22 Oct 2013
#5 Feb 27, 2014
What do all Chinese people who live in the smog have in common, apart from the fact that they complain and wear masks? That they are all looking for a chance to emigrate! said a blog entry posted this week.
Alongside that article were photographs contrasting the blue skies of Frankfurt, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Munich with images of Beijing residents using masks to fend off the smog.
Chen Zhiyu, whose Beijing firm helps Chinese move to Australia, said 80% of his customers cited pollution as a major factor in their decision to leave. Many were couples in their thirties with young children.
Concern over environmental pollution is the primary motivation for emigration, he said.They want to provide their offspring a better environment by moving.
The report appeared to support the findings of a January study by the Centre for China & Globalization think tank. It predicted Chinese disappointment and distrust of the living environment will be a significant driver for a new tide of emigration.
Earlier this month one academic argued that wealthy Chinese who abandon the country in search of cleaner skies should have to pay an environmental tax before leaving, according to China Dialogue, a bilingual website on the environment.
On Thursday, one day after the sun over Beijing disappeared behind a noxious curtain of smog, the central government vowed to harshly punish the power plants, steel mills and cement factories it blamed for the pollution.
Xi Jinping, Chinas president, admitted air pollution was a major issue concerning people's livelihood and called for strengthened efforts to control smog.
"We should treat both symptoms and root causes of environmental pollution, focusing both on emergency and regular measures," Xi said, according to Xinhua, the official news agency.
Levels of tiny but dangerous airborne particulates called PM2.5 had to be brought down by reducing dependence on coal, strictly controlling vehicles and adjusting industry structures, Xi added.
Xinhua celebrated the fact that president Xi had taken to the streets on Wednesday during a day of extreme pollution [but] did not wear a mask.
However, Fang Da, an anti-pollution campaigner who runs a blog that tests face masks called the Smog Survival Handbook, said it was essential those living in mainland China took steps to educate and protect themselves.
It is a wrong to say that the human body will gradually get used to smog, said Mr Fang, who has spent thousands of pounds installing six separate air filters in his 2,000 square foot flat.
The more smog you inhale, the more it will build up inside your body, the worse your health will be and the quicker you are likely to get lung disease.
If we just let things go on like this, one day it will be too late and there will be no return."
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