In an effort to get a pulse on China’s private wealth market, U.S.-based Goldman Sachs is sending employees to the country, news organization XFN-Asia reports.

Goldman Sachs, which already has an office in Shanghai, said either one or two employees will be sent there to research the market, and, if necessary, design products for the growing population of rich Chinese.

Although a spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the story, this would mark the latest American firm trying to penetrate China before certain restrictions are lifted. Currently, a firm can offer wealth management services only if it has a joint venture partner in China.

In 2003, the number of millionaires in China, in terms of U.S. dollars, grew 12% to 236,000. Throughout the rest of the world, the average increase in number of millionaires was 7.5%.

"Until recently, private wealth management in China was unheard of," Datamonitor researcher Alan Shields, who heads up the firm’s analysis of Asia Pacific wealth management, told XFN. "It remains a relatively new concept and the market is in a very early stage of development.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.