World of Weibo

Rich talk

Wang Sicong

The Rich Kids Of Instagram – a 2012 internet phenomenon – was an Instagram account in which wealthy offspring posted photos of their glamorous lifestyles. It inspired two American reality TV series (one based in New York and the other in Beverly Hills).

In China most fuerdai (second generation wealthy) have learned to keep a lower profile, as showboating usually means their powerful parents have to court notoriety.

But a surfeit of publicity doesn’t look to be a concern for Wang Sicong, the 22 year-old son of China’s richest man Wang Jianlin. A flamboyant online personality, Wang junior has made it public that he is a fan of “IQ discrimination” and opposes the institution of marriage.

A few years back he ran an online lucky draw to celebrate the number of his followers on Sina Weibo surpassing one million (he now has nearly four million fans). When Xu Ming, owner of Dalian Shide Group, was detained, Wang also weighed in by saying that Shide (formerly a competitor of his father’s Dalian Wanda) had “gotten fat by beating its own face” (a slightly unusual Chinese idiom which means someone has gone to extremes to pretend to be rich and powerful).

Wang senior has warned his son not to smear his acquaintances on weibo. But this month, Wang Sicong’s name became a weibo buzzword, thanks to a candid confession he made during an interview with Sina Finance, which subsequently went viral online.

“One has to leverage on his own competitive advantage. My competitive advantage is being rich,” Wang said. “I don’t care if my friends are rich or not. I am richer anyway.”

This admission got some sarcastic feedback. “I don’t care if my friends are poor or not. I am poorer anyway,” one read.

Others warned that such flamboyant expression could backfire on Wang’s father by fanning the flames of the inequality debate about which Beijing is now so sensitive. “Shut up or else Wang senior will soon be in trouble,” predicted one netizen.

But is the son listening? Probably not. Wang’s latest weibo offering is photos of himself cuddling up to nine members of an all-female singing group, who are dressed as bunny playmates and hanging out at his luxurious home.

Wang wrote that he felt like the star of a Japanese ‘adult entertainment’ film.


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