Rupert Hoogewerf (Hurun), Chairman and Chief Researcher of the Hurun Report, best known for its annual China Rich List, shared his insights on the rise of philanthropy in China.
Rupert Hoogewerf (Hurun)
Mention the name Rupert Hoogewerf in China and it’s likely to be met with a blank expression. But say the word “Hurun” and it’s an all together different story. For the last ten years Hurun, or as he’s known in his native England, Rupert Hoogewerf, has been responsible for compiling China’s annual rich list – the Hurun Report.
Back in 1999, whilst asking young Chinese university graduates about their role models, Shanghai-based accountant Rupert began to notice a pattern. Time after time the graduates would talk about making money, but when it came to naming the Chinese business leaders who inspired them, they would draw a blank. Struck by this, and curious to know who was leading the explosive growth of China’s private sector, he teamed up with two Shanghai university students to compile the China Rich List.
Having painstakingly sifted through what public sources were available, Hoogewerf’s final list of 50 names marked the first serious attempt of its kind to identify China’s wealthiest individuals. Topped by the former vice-president ‘Red Capitalist’ Rong Yiren, the minimum threshold for inclusion was less than USD 10 million. Since then, the size and scope of the China Rich List has grown at an exponential rate and become an eagerly awaited annual event for China’s private sector. The 2010 list indicates the enormity of this growth: released October 2010, it includes 1393 names, with a minimum threshold of USD 150million.
The list is the flagship product of Hurun Report, a luxury publishing and events company founded by Hoogewerf in 1999, which produces three magazine titles aimed at China’s wealth creators, namely the Hurun Report (Nobody Knows China’s Rich Better), the Schools Guide series (Unlocking the Doors to the World’s Best Schools) and Hurun Horse & Polo (For Aspiring Horse Lovers). Hoogewerf’s close personal relationships with many of China’s leading entrepreneurs also provide the basis for the company’s busy calendar of events.