In an article posted in the South China Morning Post, columnist Nick Withycombe spoke about the future of China’s wealthiest families, and the children that are born into such privilege.
The growth of the country’s richest billionaires has grown exponentially over the past few years, mostly due to their ability to fabricate the cheapest produce the world has ever seen. China has basically taken over the world with their manufacturing capabilities, and anyone that hasn’t taken notice must be living under a rock somewhere.
The commentary also notes that despite all the wealth that these Chinese billionaires have managed to produce in their home country, one of their favourite things to do is ship their children off to the best schools all around the world. Apparently they want the legacy that they leave behind to be one of wealth, and a testimony of how well their offspring lived their lives – a testament really to how well they were able to provide for them too of course.
Incredibly, China has managed to come in second on the list of billionaires in the world. Just last year, the Hurun Report indicated that for every 10 new billionaires, China produced at least four of them. According to the Forbes World Billionaires List in 2020, the United States is ranked the highest with 614 billionaires, with China coming in second at 389.
Mr Withycombe also opined that math and English are deemed highly important in academics, and not only are children expected to be exceptional in all their studies, they also spend most of their weekends practising these subjects, alongside learning musical instruments and at times, also dancing ballet or doing other types of physical activities.
The writer even mentions that according to the Hurun Research Institute, most might be surprised to find out that at least half of China’s billionaires never even went to graduate school or bothered to get a master’s degree at all. In fact, some of China’s wealthiest billionaires didn’t even go to a fancy school at all.
Co-founder of e-commerce site Alibaba and the richest Chinese businessman with a reported net worth of $38.8 billion, Jack Ma, graduated from the Hangzhou Normal University. Another is Ma Huateng, Chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings – the company that started WeChat – who is worth $38.1 billion. He studied at Shenzhen University. And many other Chinese billionaires like Robin Li Yanhong and Hui Ka-yan also remained in their home country for college as well.
But unlike them, their children are living completely different lives than they did when they were the same age. Withycombe made a list of some of the heirs of China’s wealthiest, where they study, and what they are up to at the moment.
Annabel Yao is the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei. Impressively, the 22-year old is a computer science student at Harvard, where she also studies ballet.
Sicong Wang is the son of Jianlin Wang, founder of Dalian Wanda Group – the biggest real estate development company in the country – who studied in Singapore before heading to England where he attended Winchester College. The school reportedly costs US$51,400 for a single year.
Wendy Yu, daughter of Jingyuan Yu who is the founder of the Mengtian group, moved to England when she was just 15. She studied at the Taunton School in Somerset first and later on moved to the London College of Fashion for fashion management.
Mario Ho Yau-kwan is the son of Stanley Ho, the last Macau casino tycoon. He not only won the Hong Kong National Math Championship two times, he was also accepted into the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and managed to graduate in just three years for a four-year course. He is also MIT’s youngest student in history to have taken the school’s Master of Finance Programme.