More and more wealthy Chinese are worried about keeping their money on the mainland and some see Singapore as a safe haven. Since protests disrupted Hong Kong's economy in 2019, affluent Chinese have looked for alternative places to store their wealth. Singapore proved attractive because of its large Mandarin Chinese-speaking community and, unlike many countries, it doesn't have a wealth tax.
The trend appeared to pick up last year after Beijing's sudden crackdown on the education industry and emphasis on "common prosperity" — moderate wealth for all, rather than just a few. That's according to CNBC's interviews with firms in Singapore that are helping wealthy Chinese move their assets to the city-state via the family office structure. A family office is a privately held company that handles investment and wealth management for an affluent family. In Singapore, setting up a family office typically requires at least $5 million in assets.
Over the last 12 months, inquiries about setting up a family office in Singapore have doubled at Jenga, a five-year-old accounting and corporate services firm, according to its founder Iris Xu. She said the majority of inquiries come from people in China or emigrants from the country.