Earlier this year Wang Jianlin, the founder of Dalian Wanda (and China’s richest man depending on the survey you look at) released a book on his managerial philosophies, called The Wanda Way.
For those who didn’t have time to read his book, Wang this month boiled his recipe for success down to a single sentence. As he told Lu Yu, the presenter of the chat show The Star’s Day, the secret is this: “First of all set yourself a small, achievable target, like earning Rmb100 million.”
China’s netizens weren’t universally encouraged by this pithy piece of advice.
One weibo user had this to say: “Without thinking, Wang Jianlin said that a small target is Rmb100 million ($14.99 million), yet so many families lose their lives because they can’t even get Rmb10,000. It’s the difference between heaven and earth.”
Others agreed that great wealth had detached Wang from the realities of China’s average citizens.
Some weibo users seemed to think this was all too common a mentality among the world’s super rich. One popular comment joked, “This is exactly like how Bill Gates saves money for a Lamborghini: ‘One, two, three, four, five, aha! Now I have enough”. The unimaginable heights of Wang’s lowest ambitions also spawned a series of spoof motivational tips such as, “First set a small target, like growing to ten metres tall,” or “First set a small target, like getting 150% on your test”.
But perhaps the most realistic concern raised by netizens is that Wang’s wealth will only perpetuate more wealth. One widely circulated post reads: “Wang Jianlin gave his son Rmb500 million and he has earned Rmb4 billion: he multiplied it eight times. My father gave me Rmb5, I bought two pairs of gloves and sold them at a construction site for Rmb100: that’s 20 times! Clearly I have the talent; it’s the funding I lack.”
Thoughts like this encouraged other netizens to try their luck, announcing “Wang Jianlin! I am your long-lost child!” in the hope that they might achieve a similar ‘get started’ fund to the tycoon’s only son.
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