China’s richest person

China’s richest person isn’t a Hong Kong investment banker or a Shanghai real estate mogul. According to the 2006 Hurun Rich List, she is Zhang Yin, a 49-year-old scrap paper merchant, with a net worth of $3.4 billion. That’s richer than both omnimedia queen Oprah Winfrey and Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling. If you haven’t been following the ...

606690_zhang-yin5.jpg
606690_zhang-yin5.jpg

China's richest person isn't a Hong Kong investment banker or a Shanghai real estate mogul. According to the 2006 Hurun Rich List, she is Zhang Yin, a 49-year-old scrap paper merchant, with a net worth of $3.4 billion. That's richer than both omnimedia queen Oprah Winfrey and Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling.

If you haven't been following the scrap paper story, China is soaking up waste paper from the United States to the tune of somewhere between $91 to $125 million a month. The reason? It's building paper plants, but doesn't have the forests to feed them. For more, read this piece by Bob Fernandez, an excellent business writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, who has covered this story in some detail.

This year's Hurun List features 15 billionaires, up from seven last year. It's further evidence that China's rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Some estimates now show that fewer than 1 percent of China's households control more than 60 percent of the country's wealth. That's a recipe for political instability. Which may be one reason why, just yesterday, the Central Committee of China's Communist Party endorsed a doctrine put forward by President Hu Jintao that aims to reduce the wealth gap over the next 15 years. 

China’s richest person isn’t a Hong Kong investment banker or a Shanghai real estate mogul. According to the 2006 Hurun Rich List, she is Zhang Yin, a 49-year-old scrap paper merchant, with a net worth of $3.4 billion. That’s richer than both omnimedia queen Oprah Winfrey and Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling.

If you haven’t been following the scrap paper story, China is soaking up waste paper from the United States to the tune of somewhere between $91 to $125 million a month. The reason? It’s building paper plants, but doesn’t have the forests to feed them. For more, read this piece by Bob Fernandez, an excellent business writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer, who has covered this story in some detail.

This year’s Hurun List features 15 billionaires, up from seven last year. It’s further evidence that China’s rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Some estimates now show that fewer than 1 percent of China’s households control more than 60 percent of the country’s wealth. That’s a recipe for political instability. Which may be one reason why, just yesterday, the Central Committee of China’s Communist Party endorsed a doctrine put forward by President Hu Jintao that aims to reduce the wealth gap over the next 15 years. 

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