02/04/2023, 15.09
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More and more Chinese 'high rollers' are moving to Singapore

The trend stems from securing their wealth from the Chinese Communist Party after events involving some billionaires. Wealth management companies have increased from 400 in 2020 to 700 in 2021. But the city-state is increasingly seen as a place of residence rather than a backup plan.

Singapore (AsiaNews/Agencies) - China's super-rich are moving to Singapore in hopes of protecting their assets from the Chinese Communist Party.

Beijing's crackdowns and three years of "zero covid" policy have prompted many families to seek refuge abroad, some experts in the field explained.

The city-state has been ruled by the same party for six decades, and labor strikes and street protests are banned. Taxes are relatively low and the population is predominantly ethnic Chinese.

Many Chinese nationals have moved to luxury villas overlooking the sea on Sentosa Island, where there is also a theme park, a casino and a prestigious golf club.

Pearce Cheng, managing director of Aims, a company that provides immigration and relocation services, told Agence France Press that he attended the party of a client who asked to serve a rare Japanese whiskey whose cost goes up to 0,000 a bottle.

Cheng's company also helps find luxury condominiums, hire drivers and enroll children in private schools. One of his clients once bought some cigars worth ,000, he said.

"Many of them are young, they wear trendy designer clothes, and they usually keep to themselves and dine with each other, which is not surprising," added Benny Teo, managing director of Blazon, a consulting firm specializing in golf.

In the wake of the affairs of billionaire Jack Ma, who lost about billion in 2020 after Chinese authorities clamped down on his business, more and more billionaires are seeing Singapore as their new home instead of a backup plan.

"Moving to Singapore means making sure that family wealth is kept safe and can last for several generations," Blazon's CEO pointed out.

According to Singapore authorities, wealth management companies dedicated to individual and group assets, called family offices, increased from 400 in 2020 to 700 in 2021.

"I would not be surprised if the total figure for 2022 shows that one out of every two new family offices comes from China," commented Loh Kia Meng, head of this type of practice at law firm Dentons Rodyk. Some analysts say the trend may continue even with the end of the "zero covid" policy. 

"The media attention on wealthy and prominent people setting up family offices in Singapore has sparked interest in our country," Loh said.

"If the world's billionaires are gathering in Singapore, why not us as well?" is probably what China's super-rich are asking themselves, Loh added.

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