The exit plans of China’s wealthy were triggered amid fears of high taxes and personal safety after Xi Jinping was re-elected. They race to get their whole family out of the country.

Financial Times reported, citing David Lesperance, a European-based lawyer who has worked with wealthy families in Hong Kong and China. He said he has received three ‘proceed’ instructions from various ultra-high net worth Chinese business families to execute their escape plans.

Kia Meng Loh, a Singapore-based senior partner at Dentons Rodyk, also told the Times that Hong Kong, a long-favored investment destination for China’s wealthy-elite families, had become less attractive after Xi’s increased control over the territory.

Xi said, “We will keep income distribution and the means of accumulating wealth well-regulated.” He added, “We will protect lawful income, adjust excessive income and prohibit illicit income.”

China’s wealthy worry that in Xi’s “Common prosperity” plan, he will introduce a formal wealth tax to replace the informal donation that is currently in place. They plan to move to Singapore or Canada by purchasing properties. 

According to the Financial Times, citing Citi Private Bank, the total number of ‘family offices,’ private firms that are used to manage the family wealth of Chinese residents in Singapore has jumped fivefold. They tried to move their assets offshore to avoid the consequences of breaching Xi’s law, which could be costly even for the rich. They are also increasingly concerned for their safety especially after witnessing a series of temporary or longer-term disappearances of high-profile people from the public including Jack Ma, tennis star Peng Shuai, elite financier Xiao Jianhua, and real estate mogul Whitney Duan.

In Shanghai and Beijing, immigration agencies reported a significant number of applications for U.S. green cards for people with “extraordinary ability” as it will be processed with higher priority than investment-based green cards often used by the ultra-wealthy. Apparently, the Chinese rich are rushing to find any possible way to flee from the country.

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