Chinese billionaires suffered the most decline in their wealth this year in over two decades, as the country’s economic downturn hurts their fortunes.

Reuters cited data from the millionaire Hurun Rich list, reporting that only 1,305 Chinese super-rich made the list this year, down 11% from last year. Their total wealth this year totaled $3.5 trillion, down 18% from a year ago.

The number of individuals with a wealth of $10 billion dropped by 29 to 56, while the number of dollar billionaires fell by 239 to 946 this year. 

The Hurun Rich list tracks Chinese wealthiest individuals with a minimum net worth of 5 billion yuan ($692 million). 

Rupert Hoogewerf, the chairman and chief researcher of the Shanghai-based research firm behind the Hurun Report list, told Reuters, “This year has seen the biggest fall in the Hurun China Rich List of the last 24 years.” 

The Chinese regime has imposed a regulatory crackdown over the past two years on major industries. Among them, tech and real estate suffer the most. 

An ongoing property crisis hit many Chinese developers, as shown in the case of Yang Huiyan, the businesswoman of real estate giant Country Garden. She suffered the biggest drop on the 2022 list, losing $15.7 billion last year.

In April, the company also released its 2022 billionaire list with three top Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, followed by New York, London, and Tokyo. 

The list took a brutal hit from Beijing’s Covid-controlled measures and Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” drive, designed to restrict “excessive” income to reduce wealth inequality in China.

According to the Financial Times, wealthy Chinese are now prepared to move out of their country as they share a pessimistic outlook of China under Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party ruling after the CCP’s national congress in mid-October.

In June, Henley & Partners also expected about 10,000 high-net-worth Chinese millionaires would migrate out of China in 2022. Bloomberg reported that about $48 billion would be withdrawn from China, second only to Russia.

Regarding the number of billionaires, China surpassed the U.S. in 2016.

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