US still top spot for rich Chinese heading overseas, with Canada coming second, report finds

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 July, 2017, 11:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 July, 2017, 9:11am

The United States remains the top destination for rich Chinese investors looking to buy property and move overseas, according to a report released on the weekend.

The report, by Hurun Report and Visas Consulting, also said Chinese were more concerned about the depreciation of the yuan and their lack of knowledge about overseas investment.

The assessments were based on interviews conducted between April and July with 304 Chinese who had already emigrated or planned to do so. Their average wealth was 20 million yuan (US$2.95 million or HK$23 million).

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Canada was the second most popular destination on the list, followed by Australia. Hong Kong was 15th.

Within the US, the west coast had the greatest allure, particularly Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. New York remained the fourth most popular city.

For the fourth year in a row, education and “living environment” were the main forces driving rich Chinese overseas, the report said. Another major reason was access to better medical care.

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Nearly 20 per cent of the ­respondents said they were not confident about the country’s growth prospects.

But the survey also revealed barriers to emigration. Almost 30 per cent of those surveyed said long waiting times were the biggest obstacle, ­followed by language barriers and difficulty in integrating into ­mainstream society.

“Over the past decade, the number of Chinese rich considering immigration has remained at around 60 per cent, but this year [it] has come down to just under half, the lowest on record, but still not low,” Hurun Report chief ­researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said.

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More than 34 per cent of those surveyed said they were considering moving to a different city in China – a sign that property prices might stay high.

Concern about the fall in the yuan was up, with some 84 per cent of the respondents expressing concern about the issue, compared with 50 per cent in last year’s survey.

More than half of those polled were also concerned about US dollar exchange rate, foreign exchange controls and domestic property market developments.

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Some 60 per cent expected home prices on the mainland to keep rising over the next three years, and 44 per cent expected the country’s economic development to slow.