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The Big Take

Rich Chinese Worth $48 Billion Want to Leave — But Will Xi Let Them?

Some 10,000 wealthy Chinese are looking to leave in the wake of punishing lockdowns and an economic slowdown. The question is whether they’ll be able to.

Police officers in protective gear guard a road during a lockdown in Shanghai in April.

Police officers in protective gear guard a road during a lockdown in Shanghai in April.

Source: Bloomberg

Like thousands of wealthy people across China, Shanghai restaurateur Harry Hu is planning to do something he once considered unthinkable: move himself and his money out of the country.

Scarred by Shanghai’s chaotic lockdown under the Covid-Zero policy that has made China a global outlier, Hu is joining what investment migration consultancy Henley & Partners estimates is a cohort of 10,000 high-net-worth residents seeking to pull $48 billion from China this year — the second-largest predicted wealth and people outflow for a country after Russia.