The surge in the number of billionaires in the world's most populous country has made it an Eldorado for private banks.
China's young entrepreneurs are "set to swell the ranks of the world's billionaires for years to come", the report said. "There are 701 billionaires over the age of 70, whose wealth will transition to heirs and philanthropy over the next 20 years, given the statistical probability of average life expectancy". The number of Chinese billionaires jumpe from 16 in 2006 to 373 in 2016. "We're combining the digital world with the material world with the biogenetics world and everything's starting to come together", said John Mathews, Head of Ultra High Net Worth Americas at UBS Global Wealth Management.
Nearly one in five came from China, which saw 373 people hold US$1.12 trillion, rising from just 16 in 2006, according to a report on billionaires published by UBS and PwC on Friday. The growth rate in the whole of Apac was 32 percent. Despite healthy growth in the Americas and Europe, Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at almost double the pace, growing by 39 percent to United States dollars 1.12 trillion.
This year's survey, based on interviews and financial data, widened its scope to include 2158 individuals from 43 countries, compared to 1550 billionaires from 14 countries cited in last year's report.
However, the report also estimated that if the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China escalates to an all-out trade war, both countries could see significantly lower economic growth before policy responses. Their assets increased by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.
It added that over little more than a decade, they had created some of the world's largest companies, raised living standards and made fortunes at an unprecedented pace. According to UBS, 40 of the 179 new billionaires created a year ago inherited their wealth-a trend that has driven an explosion of wealth inequality over the past several decades.
China leads the way as worlds billionaires get even richer
It said 106 people became billionaires but 51 dropped off the list, illustrating the risks of doing business in China.
'But this is just the beginning.
Of all Chinese billionaires, 97 percent are self-made. "This cohort is overwhelmingly self-made and determined to capitalize on one of history's greatest moments for new enterprise".
Billionaires from Asia, especially in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, are now challenging the traditional dominance of Americans as technology entrepreneurs.
The report said the Americas region was still home to the largest concentration of billionaire wealth, but wealth creation was slowing.
The report, which UBS produces annually with the audit and consulting firm PwC, is meant to be a marketing tool for the firm's wealth management business.