On March 10th, Forbes published the 2010 World's Billionaires list, among which the Chinese has increased from 28 to 64 people since last year; the Chinese now has the world's second most number of billionaires in the world and this phenomenon has attracted international attention.
Amid the world economic recovery, the number of world’s billionaires has exceeded a thousand, which is an increase from 793 people in 2009 to 1,011 in 2010. United States remains as the country with the most number of billionaires, reaching 403. While Asia and China’s economies continue to prosper, Asia’s billionaires have increased drastically, in particular, in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, which 107 people were listed; 64 people are from mainland, 24 from Hong Kong, and 18 from Taiwan.
In view of this listing, oversea Chinese media have commented that it is an honor and a pride for the Chinese people for over a hundred people to enter the world’s billionaire’s list.
According to the list, the richest Chinese is still Li-Ka-shing from Hong Kong, whose net-worth has increased by $4.8 billion U.S. dollars, reaching $21 billion U.S. dollars, and he is now ranked 14 and the only Chinese within the top 20 world’s billionaires. Moreover, Li has been voted as Asia’s most generous individual, for he has donated over $1.4 billion U.S. dollars towards education and medical research.
As seen from this year’s listing, the billionaires in mainland China has grown tremendously. In 2003, there wasn’t any one from mainland China to enter this list; however, this year’s number of billionaires from China has increased from 28 people since end of last year to 64 people. From the entire Asia region, the billionaires in Asia-Pacific region has grown rapidly, which has become the region with the third largest number of billionaires.
With the rapid increase of Chinese billionaires, this phenomenon not only reflects China’s rapid economic growth, but also the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the society. In a recent citizen’s poll conducted by Sina, around 90 percent of the people agree to this statement, and over 60 percent of people hope that these billionaires can also care for social justice instead of being bent solely on profit.
According to Reuter’s news poll conducted by Ipsos in February, the financial crisis has caused more Asians to place greater weight in money. Among the 23 countries surveyed, China, Japan, and South Korea have the highest percentage (84%) of adults surveyed that agree that money is more important to them nowadays than previously. The figures have far exceeded that of United States, England, and other capitalist countries.
In the midst of rapid increase of wealth, the people’s viewpoints on wealth and the relevant social phenomenon all point to the importance for the churches to instill the proper values on possessions and life to the society.
In China Horizon’s July-issue, a special report titled “China Churches in Financial Tsunami” pointed out that, in the last two decades, people in China have been following the trend that money is everything. Many people neglect the welfare of theirs and other’s lives in order to make money; money has become the standard of judgment for self-value and is meaning of life. The fundamental reason is that China lacked the proper value system and perspective of life.
On the topic of money management, the Bible provides numerous lessons. Earning money diligently in order to raise the standard of living isn’t a bad thing, but the true owner of possessions is God, so man is only the steward of the possessions. Each person should faithfully and efficiently manage wealth, but never let possession control a person.
China Horizon reported that what the Chinese society needs right now is this kind of value system. While financial tsunami affects the lives of many today, Chinese Christians should practice a genuine and sincere faith in this perfect time and environment for witnessing. Churches must take hold of the opportunities to introduce to the society this type of Christian values on money and life.
[Editor's note: Reporter Joshua Cheng translated the article.]