Chinese billionaires fleeing China as harsh COVID lockdowns continue in the country
07/26/2022 // JD Heyes // Views

Scores of Chinese billionaires have either left their home country or are planning to do so in the near future, sparking new concerns that Beijing's war plans for the forceful "reunification" of Taiwan are about to be implemented.

As reported by Fortune, Shanghai-based billionaire Yimeng Huang -- the CEO and chairman of gaming company XD -- became the latest billionaire to announce that he and his family are preparing to leave China, a memo that was leaked onto the internet and then went viral on Chinese social media. The post spurred new discussions among social media users about the number of very prominent Chinese businesspeople leaving their country.

In a company memo, Yimeng said: "I'm preparing my family to move abroad by next year. It's still a plan though, and anything can happen in a year. I'm prioritizing both my family and the business. The scale of our overseas business is only growing."

"My ideal scenario is to see China's COVID-19 quarantine policies relaxed a year from now, then China's international relations can only improve and be more open, then we can all move around as the needs of our work and lives dictate," he added.

Fortune noted further: "Huang isn't the only one itching to pack his bags. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Chinese citizens have endured the government's punishing zero-tolerance strategy that aims to stamp out the virus at all costs. Chinese policies of extended mass lockdowns and rigorous testing trapped bankers in their offices, forced Tesla workers to sleep at the carmaker's factories, and locked families inside Disneyland until all 33,000 parkgoers could be tested. Shanghai's two-month lockdown, which lasted from April to June, saw residents resorting to barter for food and goods.


"Now, faced with a continued 'zero-COVID' future, China's rich are plotting their escape. Around 10,000 high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) in China are seeking to leave their country this year and could take $48 billion in wealth with them, according to a new wealth migration report by Henley and Partners, an investment migration consultancy."

In addition, the outlet continued, the number of wealthy Hong Kong residents who want to leave is also very high. The city, a special autonomous region of China, has also enacted a "dynamic-zero" COVID policy as Beijing kept a close eye on the city, home to around 3,000 HNWI individuals who are also planning to escape sometime this year. They are collectively worth around $12 billion.

But wealthy citizens wanting to leave China and take their money with them are facing several major obstacles erected by Beijing, which seeks to prevent the massive outflow of wealth from the country as the ChiCom government deals with a self-inflicted battered economy, rising unemployment among youth and more COVID outbreaks after releasing the virus on the world.

During the pandemic's first year, the zero-COVID policies appeared to work, as the country outwardly appeared to mostly contain the outbreak even as nations in the West dealt with millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths, Fortune reported.

But the continued harsh lockdowns, which only affect ordinary citizens and not the country's Communist elite, are wearing extremely thin among the population. There are rising instances of mental health cases, while other Chinese suffered serious medical conditions because they were unable to go out to receive medical care. Also, the lockdowns hurt small and large businesses (just like they did in blue states that used similar lockdown strategies for everyone but the Democrat elite).

Millions of businesses have closed in the past two years, and global companies operating in China are sick and tired of the enduring lockdowns. As such, Chinese GDP dramatically declined in the second quarter, with the economy growing only an anemic o.4percent. Youth unemployment stands at 18 percent.

In May, China's immigration bureau said it would begin to stringently "restrict the nonessential exit activities of Chinese citizens…and strictly [enforce] strict exit and entry policies,” citing the need to contain the virus.

But many Chinese viewed the measure as a way to restrict the loss of brain power and money dramatically.

China is self-imploding, and the world will feel the shockwave.

Sources include: (Fortune reprint)

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