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Chinese billionaires outnumber those in the Unites States for the first time

China now boasts 596 billionaires - 60 more than the U.S.- after a staggering 242 Chinese people became billionaires for the first time in just one year, according to a new survey.

The Unites States continues to dominate the list of wealthiest people on the planet with Americans making up seven of the top ten. Not a single Chinese entry made it into the top ten.    

The wealthiest man on the globe is Microsoft founder Bill Gates. China's richest citizen is entertainment mogul Wang Jianlin, owner of AMC cinemas and founder of conglomerate Wanda, has a net worth of $34.4billion - less than half than that of Gates.

The fortunes of five richest U.S. citizens is also three times that of China's top five. But there is no denying that China's richest are catching up.

China is now leading the world for numbers of billionaires in what they describe as a historical "turning point."

However, for a country with 1.4billion people, its 596 billionaires make up just 0.00072 per cent of its overall population. In comparison, Americans have a far higher number of billionaires per capita, at 0.05 per cent of the overall population.

Much of the boom was due to the rise of fortunes in information technology and manufacturing. Experts say the trend also represents more privatization of the Chinese economy.

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