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Report: Number of China Billionaires Surpasses 300

Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group and China's richest person, poses for a photo during an interview at his office in Beijing in this December 3, 2012, file photo.
A Beijing-based publication says the number of billionaires in China has risen to more than 300 in the last year.

The Hurun Report's 2013 China Rich List says there are now 315 billionaires in the country, the first time the number has surpassed 300.

Rupert Hoogewerf, who publishes the Hurun Report, told VOA the trend is impressive, considering China is going through an economic slowdown.

"If the economy takes off properly again, which by all intents and purposes we're hearing it might do at the end of next year, then I expect you can see these numbers grow even further," said Hoogewerf.

The publication said the biggest source of wealth on this year's list was the real estate industry, where prices have recently soared.

Highlighting that trend, the magazine named real estate developer Wang Jianlin as China's richest person, with a fortune of $22 billion.

Wang's company, the Dalian Wanda Group, runs hotels, movie theaters and department stores. Last year it purchased the U.S. theater chain AMC.

The magazine said over half of China's wealthiest 1,000 people saw their wealth grow in the past year.