Australia Network Logo
A life abroad tempts China's new millionaires
Despite China's economic rise some of its new millionaires are planning to leave their home country to live abroad.

China's dramatic rise has seen the country transformed from economic back water to global business hub. And making it rich has become something of a national philosophy in place of communism.

However, some of China's new millionaires are having second thoughts about their country's rapid economic development and are opting for a new life overseas.

China correspondent, Huey Fern Tay, reports.
Transcript
HUEY FERN TAY: The guests at this five-star hotel ballroom are not your average crowd. These are some of China's rich and famous.

(Footage of Party - applause)

Tonight's party was organised by a magazine Hurun. It releases a list of richest people in the country every year and the list, like China's economy, has been growing fast.

But like the old saying goes, money doesn't buy happiness and China's uber-rich aren't all satisfied with their new found wealth.

A poll by Hurun magazine found half of the country's millionaires they surveyed with planning to leave China's shores to live elsewhere.

'MR JI' (Translation): We didn't really know what we were doing initially. Our main objective was to find a place that had a good welfare system and a better natural environment.

HUEY FERN TAY: 'Mr Ji' is one of the China millionaires plotting life outside the country. He owns a few pieces of properties here, but unlike most of China's super rich, that's not where he made his money.

He's cagey about how he made it big and would only speak to us on the condition we keep his identity anonymous. But he was happy to share his plans to go to Canada and his complaints about China.

'MR JI' (Translation): I want my children of future generations to live in a fairer society, even if it means exposing their weaknesses. It's better than living in a society where there's more unfairness.

HUEY FERN TAY: China's economic rise and clout is one reason why many are flocking to live and do business here.

But the development has come at a cost. China's rich cite issues like air pollution for wanting to move away to places like the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore.

And it's not just the rich packing up.

He Yanchun wants a better life for her only son, a life, she says away from the rigidity of China's education system.

HE YANCHUN: No less than three of my friends say, 'You go first, you pave the way for us and we'll follow suit'.

HUEY FERN TAY: China's stifling education system was the reason given by most people the ABC spoke to who wanted to leave the country. But scratch a little deeper below the surface, and other more complex issues begin to emerge. Issues such as the rule of law and the perception of a lack of empathy in Chinese society are some of the other factors given by analysts and those who want a chance to live life elsewhere.

(Footage of Guangzhou rail crash)

For He Yanchun the deal breaker was the high speed rail crash in Guangzhou last summer. She had already been toying with the idea of leaving, but made up her mind after seeing how rescue operations were handled and how authorities are tempted to censor public reaction.

HE YANCHUN (Translation): I felt so hopeless at that point in time. In the past, I used to think that if I worked hard I would get promoted, make more money and give my family a more comfortable life. This would also mean a safer environment for them.

HUEY FERN TAY: Social commentator, Hu Xingdau isn't surprised that entrepreneurs in particular would want to leave. He says they are a particularly vulnerable and weak group.

HU XINGDAU, SOCIAL COMMENTATOR (Translation): If the businessman offends a government official, that official can use many ways to put him in jail, by checking his accounts, checking him for tax evasion, or falsifying company capital records.

HUEY FERN TAY: Despite moving abroad, China's millionaires have no intention of giving up their citizenship. They are driven by pragmatism. Because, after all, doing business as a foreigner in China would be more complicated and moving away from the place of your birth is never easy.

'MR JI' (Translation): I remember I used to wonder whether I would be eating steamed hard bread rolls or buns when I was young. So China's development over the past 30 years has brought about many benefits to its people.

HUEY FERN TAY: There are no doubt many others who would want to have it both ways as well; torn between financial success in China and a perceived better quality of life elsewhere.
Advertisement
Home and Away
Improve Your English
Advertisement
Explore Australia Network
TV Guide
Ways to Watch
News
Learning English
Sports Lounge
About Us
Australia Network Home
Help
Legals
© ABC 2014