The 20th National Congress has become the last straw for many as they flee the mainland. At present, xin changzheng lushang , or “the new long march,” is spreading widely in the Chinese business world.

The term is derived from the song “On the New Long March Road,” popular during the 1990s. The songs’ lyrics tell how the Chinese people are pursuing a wealthy life and ushering in an era of reform and opening up. Now, the phrase ironically implies a departure from China. 

China’s most prosperous businesswoman Wu Yajun , cofounder and chairperson of Longfor Property, stepped down in October, citing age and health reasons. According to Radio Free Asia, her wealth is estimated by Forbes to be $15.2 billion, and she had relocated to the U.S.

Huang Guangyu and his wife, the founders of electronics retail giant GOME, have transferred their financial assets multiple times this year. Within ten months, they cashed out around $138 million (1 billion yuan). In 2014 Huang was sentenced to 14 years behind bars for insider trading and other violations. He was eventually released in 2020. In 2006, he led Forbes China Rich List with a net worth of $2.3 billion.

Another high-net-worth figure who transferred his shares several times this year is Liu Qiangdong , also known as the Jeff Bezos of China. He is the billionaire founder of e-commerce giant JD.com, who gave up his baton in April this year. However, he is believed to have already cashed out almost $9 billion. 

According to mainland media, JD.com confirmed that he currently has no decision-making power. There have been rumors that he has moved to the U.S. and is expecting a second child. 

In September, Pan Shiyi and his wife Zhang Xin both resigned from the real estate firm SOHO China they founded in 1995. According to the New York Times, the pair had already moved to the U.S. early in the pandemic and attempted to run their businesses by making late-night calls back to China.

Reuters reported that this year, the wealthiest Chinese are seeing wealth decline to the greatest extent in over two decades.

Only 1,305 persons made this year’s Hurun Rich list, which ranks China’s wealthiest individuals with a minimum net worth of $692 million (5 billion yuan), an 11% decrease from last year. It also shows that the wealthy Chinese have lost $3.5 trillion, or 18%, in the previous year.

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