It's exactly that kind of ingenuity that has helped the world's most populous nation churn out new billionaires at a prodigious clip, according to John Mathews, head of ultra-high net worth in the Americas for UBS Group AG. 585 of these billionaires are in the United States, which houses the most of any one country in the world.
"In a landmark year, the number of Asian billionaires on our database exceeded U.S billionaires for the first time", the report said.
UBS also notes that the world now has a total of 2,158 billionaires.
More than 40 of the 179 new billionaires created last year inherited their wealth, and given the number of billionaires over 70 the report's authors expect a further $3.4trn to be handed down over the next 20 years. "It's hard to become a billionaire through sheer organic growth".
Global billionaire growth of 19 percent was lower than growth in the MSCI World Index, which rose by 25 percent.
This incident, along with the recent show trials and tribulations of Chinese executives, shows that while the country has ramped up its production of new billionaires, the megarich and the bankers who chase them face a far more complex and uncertain future than their Western counterparts.
The worsening trade war with the United States has contributed to a slowing economy and the worst stock market rout in four years in China, and this could prove crucial as last year's rise was led by equity market growth and a strong global economy, according to UBS's Wyatt.
But Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at almost double that pace, growing by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion. "But this is just the beginning", said Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth at UBS wealth management.
China's 400 wealthiest people have already lost a combined US$130 billion from their fortunes in the past year, according to Forbes' 2018 China Rich List, published on Thursday.
Numerous country's 373 billionaires - nearly one in five of the global total - are self-made tycoons, often involved in the technology and retail sectors.
About 97% of China's billionaires are self-made, with the majority working in sectors such as tech or retail. According to UBS, 40 of the 179 new billionaires created previous year inherited their wealth-a trend that has driven an explosion of wealth inequality over the past several decades.
The report said that globally, self-made billionaires have driven 80 percent of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the last 40 years.
The report, which UBS produces annually with the audit and consulting firm PwC, is meant to be a marketing tool for the firm's wealth management business.