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China’s affluent rich buying a better life abroad – Vancouver real estate

November 23, 2011

Filed under: Real Estate Market,Vancouver — Richard Morrison @ 4:34 pm
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Self-made millionaire Li Weijie runs his ski and golf course outside of Beijing and is considered a patriot: A life-size statue of Mao Zedong fronts entrance of his station. What would Chairman Mao say if he knew Li is a proud cardholder of Canadian Residency? ” I wanted access to the education system and health care of a developed country,” said Li, 43, whose other businesses include one of the largest taxi companies in Beijing, 2 car dealership as well as a real estate company. Li now has a house worth 6 million in Westside of vancouver (new home in Vancouver), known for its rich Chinese buyers. His wife drives around vancouver in a black Maybach, while his 20-year-old son was drives a dark gray Maserati to classes at the University of British Columbia. His wife and son lives full time in Canada.

What began as a trickle a decade ago when Li moved his family in Canada (Vancouver East, Vancouver West which includes West Vancouver, North Vancouver, and South Vancouver) has become a flood of new rich in China seeking foreign passports or residence permits (known as green card in the U.S.) in particular the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. More than 500,000 Chinese have investable assets of more than 10 million yuan ($ 1.57 million) under a joint study published in April by the China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co. survey said nearly 60 percent are considering emigrating, has started the process, or have emigrated.

In the United States so far this year about 3,000 Chinese citizens have applied for visas for investors, compared to 270 in 2007. That 78 percent of the total number of candidates for this type of visa in accordance with United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The U.S. investor visa, also known as EB-5 requires a minimum investment of $ 500 000 by the applicant in a commercial project in the United States, which employs at least 10 Americans in two years. If Chinese applicants can not generate the jobs, they and their families may have to leave the United States

The migration makes a good business for people like Jason Zhang, a broker with Realty Direct Boston, a branch of a national chain. Zhang office specializes in the regulation of the Chinese in the Boston area. He says this year has already helped dozens of Chinese families buy homes and cars (migrants often pay cash, he says) and find good schools for their children, compared to only two or three families out of a few years ago. Wealthy suburbs like Weston and Lexington are better choices.

For the most part, China’s wealthiest are not permanently leaving the country, as some Russian oligarchs. About 80 percent of wealthy Chinese will not move to waive the passports of the October surveyed by the Bank of China and Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which publishes an annual ranking of China’s richest. Instead, the most common model is Li Weijia: His wife and son to obtain a foreign passport and live abroad, while the husband receives a residence permit, but spends most of his time in China. If you think of emigrating like Russians, it is because they are afraid and so are leaving their country,” says Hurun’s founder, Rupert Hoogewerf. “This is not true of the wealthy Chinese at all. They still have their businesses in China and most of their assets are in yuan.”

So why are they trying to stay abroad? The reason cited above is to pursue better educational opportunities for their children, according to the Bank of China and China Merchants Hurun-Bain surveys and comments from emigrants. The feeling among the rich Chinese is that American universities waved their Chinese counterparts, and their children need to understand the world. Emigrants also noted that senior Chinese leaders, like Xi Jinping, send their children to study abroad.  Escaping the dismal air quality and food safety issues were also factors.

 

Source: Dexter Roberts and Janet Zhao, Businessweek.com

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