Land of the Rising Entrepreneur

"'In China today, even the poor are richer than the richest people were when I was a boy,' says entrepreneur Huang Guangyu, 37, a peasant's son who founded retailer Gome Electrical in 1987. Huang, worth $US1.7 billion, is now China's richest man.

The driver of this new wealth is China's searing economic growth. China has expanded an average of 10.1 per cent a year for the past 15 years - propelling it past the UK to become the world's fourth-biggest economy. China is the world's largest consumer of everything from iron to cement, to wheat, to mobile phones. Its 1.3 billion people are the world's No.2 users of the internet, second only to the US. Cranes tower over its bustling cities.

In Beijing alone, 92.9 million square metres of office and residential space is under construction - the equivalent of three Manhattans, says Jack Rodman, Beijing-based partner at consulting firm Ernst & Young.

As China hurtles toward capitalist prosperity, it's spawning a class of entrepreneurs and foreign investors hoping for big payoffs. 'This is like the robber baron age in the US in the 19th century; everything is up for grabs,' says Chang Sun, who oversees Chinese investments for New York private equity firm Warburg Pincus. 'There's a gold rush mentality here.'"

Read more in this comprehensive article from the Sydney Morning Herald found via this post from China Law Blog.

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