More Chinese Cities Reach $10,000 Per-Capita GDP

      April 06, 2010 09:03

      Eleven Chinese cities now boast per-capita GDP of more than US$10,000. The combined population of the cities is more than 100 million people. The Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) said on Sunday that five Chinese cities -- Ningbo, Dalian, Weihai, Zhuhai and Beijing -- have reached the $10,000 per-capital GDP level.

      The first Chinese cities to hit the level were Shenzhen and Suzhou in 2007, followed by Wuxi, Foshan and Shanghai in 2008.

      "These cities are seeing rapid developments in secondary manufacturing industries such as electronics, automotives, IT and textiles, and quick growth in services industries as well," KOTRA said.

      The combined GDP of the 11 cities amounts to $1.73 trillion, and their populations total 93.85 million, working out to a per-capita GDP of $11,430. Shenzhen ranked first with $13,754 per-capita GDP, followed by Guangzhou ($13,015) and Suzhou ($12,211).

      The World Bank considers a country as being a mid-level wealthy nation if its per-capita GDP surpasses $10,000. Japan was the first Asian country to reach the milestone in 1984, followed by Hong Kong in 1987, Singapore in 1989, Taiwan in 1992 and Korea in 1995. As of the end of 2008, 66 countries have reached the level.

      However, the real per-capita GDP, which takes purchasing power parity into account, including low consumer prices and utility fees, of the 11 cities is estimated at around $20,000. According to estimates by the U.S. CIA and the World Bank, China’s overall per-capita GDP of $3,600 last year rises to between $5,962 and $6,500 if PPP is factored in.

      Four of the 11 cities -- Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Foshan and Zhuhai -- are clustered around Guangdong Province, while Suzhou, Wuxi and Ningbo are located near Shanghai. According to the 2010 Hurun Wealth Report, half of China's 875,000 millionaires (those with assets of more than 10 million yuan) live in Beijing (151,000), Guangdong Province (145,000) and Shanghai (122,000).

      Meanwhile, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported on Sunday that Chinese mainlanders "are on a multibillion-dollar binge of overseas luxury-home buying" in the U.S., England and Australia.

      Declining real estate prices in advanced countries in the wake of the global financial crisis have prompted wealthy Chinese to hunt for overseas property bargains, the report said.

      The "cashed-up" mainlanders come from not only Beijing, Guangdong Province and Shanghai, but also Shaanxi Province and other inland regions, the daily reported. Local realtors consider them "perfect clients: they make decisions quickly, pay in cash, focus on high-end property and don't ask for discounts," the daily said.

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