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China has the youngest billionaires

Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 9:04 AM ET
Chinese businessman Wang Gongquan.
Simon Denyer | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Chinese businessman Wang Gongquan.

China may not have the most billionaires, but it does have the youngest.

According to a report from Wealth-X and UBS, China's 157 billionaires have an average age of 53 years old. That's nine years younger than the global average.

(Read more: China has a word for its crass new rich)

China has the second-highest number of billionaires in the world after the U.S., which has 515. And China has added 10 new billionaires over the past year.

Still, China's billionaires have come under fire recently for their wealth and power. The government recently charged one of its top billionaires, venture capitalist and human rights supporter Wang Gongquan, with "assembling a crowd to disrupt order."

(Read more: China's richest man snaps up $28 million Picasso art)

The billionaire migration
CNBC's Robert Frank reports on the elusive billionaires club.

Chinese-American entrepreneur and blogger Charles Xue was arrested in August, and last year Xu Ming, once the country's eighth richest man, was arrested and charged with fraud.

(Read more: China's rich buying up yacht companies)

One study found that 17 percent of the billionaires on the Hurun Rich List—China's version of the Forbes list—wind up in court or prison.

By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.

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  • A reporter and editor, Robert Frank is a leading authority on the American wealthy for CNBC.