“Singapore is a safe haven country with long-term financial management options,” Sim said. “But the government is also very concerned about the property market being overheated because of the flow of foreign investment.
Zhong Tinghui, a family office lawyer, said, “Real estate is just the tip of the investment iceberg.” “The younger, more mature generation in China will put money into equity, businesses and franchises, buying childcare centers, bakeries and so on,” he said.
“I think what the locals are worried about is that Singapore will become a playground for the rich.”
While the ultra-wealthy in Shanghai and Beijing are setting up official family offices, Chinese professionals are looking to move money by setting up mini-family investment schemes.
An app called “Little Red Book” — a cheeky reference to Mao Zedong’s handy socialist revolutionary quotations — used to recommend places to eat and sleep for Chinese tourists traveling overseas. Now, Xiaohongshu also rates financial institutions such as law firms and investment banks in Singapore.
China can bring back some big spenders. Despite predictions of a swift rebound after years of pandemic isolation, its city’s post-COVID spending boom has yet to materialize. The headline figure for economic growth of 4.6% on Tuesday looked positive, but retail spending was weak. Growth in the first three months of the year was just 5.8%, well below the 8.3% recorded in the pre-pandemic world in early 2019.
Prophecies of retaliatory spending, pent-up demand and Chinese workers poised to unleash savings in the world’s largest consumer market have not materialized. All the numbers suggest that consumers are not ready to spend. The country’s inflation rate was 0.7% in March.
“Insufficient domestic demand is still prominent, and the foundation for economic recovery is not yet solid,” said NBS spokesman Fu Linghui.
Chung, who traveled to Shanghai on Wednesday to meet with clients, said the economy is now less motivated by COVID restrictions.
“Optimism is not a long-term thing. Many businesses, especially manufacturing and finance, have a lot of problems because rural workers are not coming back and factories have moved to Vietnam. Others think the restrictions imposed during COVID will remain.
“They’re really good tools for monitoring populations.”
China aims to become the world’s largest economy by the end of the decade, but it is having a hard time convincing its wealthiest residents to stay and spend.
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