BEIJING: Is Beijing China the New "Divorce Capital of the World"?

London has held the dubious honor of being the “divorce capital of the word” for nearly a decade. But could the tides be changing? While the city continues to see big pay days in divorce cases involving deep pocketed billionaires, another city is said to be up and coming as far as big money divorces are concerned. That city is Beijing China. First of all, in general and not just in Beijing, China has surpassed New York and probably London as the country with the most billionaires per capita. That is the threshold. Next step, China’s divorce laws have become more lax than in the past. According to the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs, the divorce rate in the country is hovering around 25 percent. When you consider the sheer number of people and couples that represents, it’s like, huge.
A few years back, Bloomberg Business wrote the article When Billionaires Divorce in China and it seems to always have a hit on shareholders in Chinese companies because a lot of these billionaires’ spouses control chunks of stocks in their companies, therefore impacting shareholders when they divorce:

Investment analysts also take a keen interest in these big-money divorces, for the simple reason that many of the tycoons and their soon-to-be-ex-spouses control big chunks of their companies’ stock. In that way, the potential corporate fallout from a divorce is greater in China than in the U.S., says Andrew Collier, managing director of Orient Capital. “Shareholding in the U.S. tends to be more diffuse,” he says.

It can be quite dramatic to get divorced in China and the press is having a feeding frenzy it seems. This helps in part to position China as the divorce capital of the world.

China’s raucous tabloid press is voraciously feeding off the trend, especially when it comes to covering high-profile divorces. Last summer, venture capitalist Wang Gongquan announced over the popular microblog Sina Weibo that he was leaving his wife for his mistress: “To all friends and relatives, to all colleagues, I am giving up everything and eloping with Wang Qin,” he tweeted. “I feel ashamed and so am leaving without saying goodbye.” In October newspapers revealed details of 61-year-old real estate mogul Wang Shi’s impending divorce and his alleged affair with a 31-year-old actress.

If indeed China is the word’s new divorce capital, the honor is obviously very new and its accolade only freshly bestowed. This will take time to gel and it will take time for the rest of the divorcing world – especially London – to accept this new champion of the break up as being top dog. But it is going to happen. It has happened. It’s just that we are the first ones to point it out to everyone. But then again we have always been on the cutting edge of trends in this field, haven’t we?