According to Hurun, which compiles lists on China's wealthiest people, most of the country's richest come from Guangdong in soutehrn China. Pictured: The Hurun logo. (CFP/file)
Guangdong has the most billionaires of any province in China and they are, on average, richer, younger and keep a much lower profile than their counterparts in other parts of the country, according to a wealth report.
Hurun Research Institute, a publishing and events group set up in 1999, published its first report on wealthy individuals in the southern province of Guangdong, following three previous reports about the rich in other regions.
The institute found that there are at least 213 people worth over 1 billion Chinese yuan in the southern province and their average wealth of 4.75 billion yuan is 800 million yuan more than that of the total 1,363 billionaires in China.
Additionally, 16 percent of the wealthy in Guangdong are female, the highest percentage in a country where super-rich women accounted for only 10 percent of the total rich, on average. This indicated that the province has a more open policy toward entrepreneurship, the report said.
The average age of these wealthy people in the south is reported to be 48 years -- 3 years younger than the national average seen in Hurun's annual list of the richest people in China.
Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the institute, said on Nov. 9 that these rich people not only have an advantage in age, but also made their wealth much more quickly compared with the ultra-rich in western countries.
However, he pointed out that the report only covered those individuals whose financial records were public, adding that there could be at least another 700 individuals who could qualify but were not included in the report.
The low profile of the billionaires in Guangdong, he said, is shown by the fact that very few of them hold government positions compared with those in northern China; and despite being involved in public affairs, not many are known about their charitable activities.
Hoogewerf said China's wealth in the next two decades will come from the service sector and brands and he urged private Chinese businesses to establish their brands while accepting a higher degree of social responsibility.