Protesters hold posters of China's late Chairman Mao Zedong and Chinese national flags as they shout slogans during an anti-Japan protest in Wuhan Sunday.
The number of billionaires in China has fallen for the first time in seven years amid the country's worsening property and stock market slump, according to the Hurun Research Institute.
The number of billionaires in China fell to 251 this year, down 20 from last year, but still significantly higher than six years ago when there were only 15 billionaires.
At the same time, the average wealth of the Hurun Top 1,000 has fallen 9 percent to US$860 million, though that amount still almost doubles that of 2008 when it was US$439 million.
Of the wealthiest 1,000 individuals, nearly half saw their wealth shrink in the past year.
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Specifically, 469 saw their wealth shrink, 291 saw their wealth grow, while 114 saw their wealth remain unchanged. There were 150 entrants to the list this year.
Topping this year's list with a fortune of $12.6 billion is "Drinks King" Zong Qinghou, who reclaimed the top spot he lost last year to Liang Wengen, co-founder of machinery company Sany. Liang fell to 5th this year with a fortune of $11 billion.
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Although this year has seen some "significant wealth bloodletting", Hurun report chairman and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf commented:
It is worth remembering that these entrepreneurs are still up 40 percent on two years ago and almost ten times ten years ago.
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For the first time since Hurun's records began in 1999, income from property dropped into second place as the top source of wealth - the fallout of Beijing's efforts to curb real estate speculation across the country.
China's manufacturing sector took the top spot at 20.1 percent, despite weakening manufacturing output data.
China's economy, which grew more than 10 percent a year for the decade through 2010, has entered a significant slowdown amid the broader global slump.
Gross domestic product expanded 9.3 percent in 2011 and hit a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the three months through June for the sixth straight quarter of weaker growth.
Weak economic data in the current third quarter, including exports and manufacturing, has led some analysts to expect China will record slower growth for a seventh straight quarter.
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The article was first published by Economy Watch.