As an experienced developer of luxury condos across NYC, Jody Kriss of East River partners has met his share of the Big Apple’s most elite, but anyone who knows the city is well aware of what it takes to secure a well-appointed home. Some chart-topping real estate prices are now exceeding $100,400,000 which can only happen because the market allows for it. Between being an international business hub, an American icon, and a hotspot for cultural activities and socialites, NYC has always been a worldwide destination. Recently, China’s Hurun Report claimed Beijing had overtaken New York City as being the world-leader for number of billionaires. Are you crying foul? You should be.

The Hurun Report Announced Beijing as World-Capital for Billionaires

The Hurun Global Rich List is an awful lot like China’s version of a Forbes List. The group has been compiling and publishing data for five years now and ranks the world’s wealthiest from top to bottom, makes note of trends, and provides highlights of their research. The 2016 edition added 99 new names to the list, for a grand total of 2,188 billionaires, representing 68 different countries.

The Top 10 Cities as Represented by the Hurun Report

  1. Beijing, China (100 billionaires)
  2. New York, USA (95 billionaires)
  3. Moscow, Russia (66 billionaires)
  4. Hong Kong, China (64 billionaires)
  5. Shanghai, China (50 billionaires)
  6. London, England (50 billionaires)
  7. Shenzhen, China (46 billionaires)
  8. Mumbai, India (45 billionaires)
  9. Hangzhou, China (32 billionaires)
  10. Paris, France (30 billionaires)

Forbes Called their Bluff

Forbes Magazine was quick to check Hurun’s math, and published their own report that indicated contrary findings. The list from China misrepresented the number of Beijing’s billionaires by a 49% margin. By correcting the error, Beijing drops down to just fourth on the list. Moreover, its billionaires have a net worth that’s about half of NYC’s, at $149.9 billion and $364.6 billion, respectively.

The Top 10 Cities as Represented by Forbes

  1. New York, USA (79 billionaires)
  2. Hong Kong, China (68 billionaires)
  3. Moscow, Russia (60 billionaires)
  4. Beijing, China (51 billionaires)
  5. London, England (47 billionaires)
  6. Mumbai, India (32 billionaires)
  7. Shanghai, China (31 billionaires)
  8. Shenzhen, China (30 billionaires)
  9. Seoul, South Korea (29 billionaires)
  10. San Francisco, USA (28 billionaires)

Not surprisingly, the Chinese “research company” also gave five of the top ten spots to cities in China, when in reality, they only held four. To add even more fuel to the fire, America still has more billionaires as a whole than China does. In fact, there are twice as many in the US, with the countries hosting 540 and 252, respectively, plus the American billionaires have a cumulative net worth of $2.4 trillion, four-times greater than China’s $594 billion.

Forbes was kind enough to tip their hats to Asia, acknowledging their steady growth in business and wealth. Journalist  Katia Savchuk added, “Hong Kong and Beijing may well overtake New York as the billionaire capital soon – but not yet.” As for Jody Kriss’ take on the matter, “New York City has passion, and its people make it great,” he said. “There’s a reason why East River Partners operates here. I don’t see the status changing anytime soon.”