(ECNS) -- Chinese entrepreneurs' views on wealth are changing significantly as their fortunes increase, China National Radio reported on Monday, citing a new study.
Some 568 billionaires from greater China made the Hurun Global Rich List released early this year, the highest number from any country in the world and 33 more than the United States with 535. Among them, 470 were from the Chinese mainland, and 100 from Beijing.
A separate survey by the All China Federation of Industry and Commerce showed the total assets of the top 500 Chinese private enterprises increased to 17.3 trillion yuan (.6 trillion) in 2015 from 434.6 billion yuan in 2001, an average annual growth of 30 percent. The average asset value of these enterprises increased to 34.6 billion yuan in 2015, from 860 million yuan in 2001.
The latest study, jointly conducted by the Dacheng Enterprise Research Institute and the Social Sciences Academic Press (China) in Beijing, found private entrepreneurs now focus more on the relationship between the interests of the nation, their own and those of their enterprises, attaching greater importance to sustainable growth, competitive edge and contributions to society.
In the past 40 years since China began its reform and opening up, the number of private enterprises has been rising rapidly, bringing increasing fortunes to entrepreneurs.
The study attributed the rapid growth of Chinese private entrepreneurs' fortunes to their utilizing various opportunities with regard to policy, market, resources and business environment. Their actions, on the whole, conformed to laws, regulations and policies of the country, it added.
"Entrepreneurs' money is not their money," said Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group. "Some people said I was the richest person in China, but I think the 'fu ' in 'shouru' (the richest) actually means the 'fu' in 'fuze' (to take responsibility)." His company's charity activities now cover four fields, including eco-environmental protection as well as health and medical care.
Chen Yongjie, vice president of Dacheng Enterprise Research Institute, said the change in entrepreneurs' views on wealth, together with their charity campaigns, represent an important characteristic of China's economic, social and cultural development for the present and future.
"Chinese entrepreneurs' charitable activities have gradually grown into a trend, which is having and will continue to have a great impact on narrowing the wealth gap and adjusting China's income distribution and social conflicts," said Chen.
The study suggested China improve laws and regulations to allow entrepreneurs to reasonably, intelligently and effectively use and manage their fortunes.