A Child of China’s Gilded Elite Strikes a Nerve Over Wealth and Privilege

There was a time not long ago when China’s newly rich — and their scions, known as fuerdai, or “second generation rich” — flaunted their wealth and status. In the go-go 1990s and 2000s, when the country opened up and let its economy blossom, the rest of society looked on in awe as these princelings posted videos of burning money or posing next to the family Lamborghini.

In today’s China, though, the mood seems to be shifting. The pandemic has left the wealthiest even better off, in China as elsewhere, widening an already yawning gap between the haves and have-nots. The list of China’s wealthiest families added $1.5 trillion to their personal wealth over 2020, according to the Hurun Report, which tracks them.

China’s increasingly powerful leader, Xi Jinping, has waged a campaign against corruption, jailing businessmen and officials who deviate from the Communist Party’s vision, which he has repeatedly urged everyone to embrace. Not even Jack Ma, China’s most famous and, until recently, richest entrepreneur, has been spared the government’s scorn. Read more (NY Times)

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