An increasing number of wealthy people will be attracted to China's technology, media and telecom sectors, according to a report on Wednesday.
Funds available for China's private investors will total 114.5 trillion yuan ($18.46 trillion) at the end of this year, according to the report, released by Forbes magazine and CreditEase Corp.
The report is based on a survey taken from January to March of 1,149 "mass affluent" Chinese, defined as those with funds available to invest of between 600,000 yuan and 6 million yuan. More than 60 per cent of them are ages 30 to 49.
Private investable funds in China totaled about 106.2 trillion yuan at the end of last year, a year-on-year increase of 12.8 per cent.
There were 13.9 million "mass affluent" people in China last year, an increase of 15.9 per cent year-on-year. By the end of this year, the figure is forecast to rise to 15.3 million, according to the report.
Besides the trade, finance and manufacturing sectors, the technology, media and telecom sectors rose in popularity last year, attracting more "mass affluent" people, the report said.
Shi Guowei, research director at the Chinese edition of Forbes magazine, said, "China is experiencing an economic transition from traditional sectors to emerging ones, which is influencing the wealth flow."
The report said 51.7 per cent of respondents came from private enterprises, while 13.3 per cent were from foreign companies－a fall of 1.9 per cent compared with last year.
"Private enterprises are rising in China, and foreign companies are gradually losing their advantages, which may explain the change," Shi said.
Banks' financial products, equities and funds were the three most popular areas for respondents, with real estate investment falling to fourth place for the first time.
According to the report, 55.6 per cent of respondents said they had invested via the Internet, mainly in monetary funds and peer-to-peer lending products, which involve lending money to unrelated individuals－or peers－without using a traditional financial intermediary such as a bank.
Tang Ning, CEO of Chinese peer-to-peer and wealth management company CreditEase Corp, said: "With the rapid development of science and technology, Internet financing is being favoured by China's 'mass affluent'. It has the advantages of a low funds threshold and convenient use."
The report also said insurance was popular among respondents, with 68.9 per cent saying they had invested in such products.
It said 58.8 per cent of respondents accept medium risk for medium returns, while 92.5 per cent favour products with an investment term of less than two years.
"China's 'mass affluent' have improved their wealth management knowledge, ... but they should hold diversified asset portfolios and take a long-term view of their investment strategies," Tang said.