The idiosyncrasies of a Chinese persona – “Fu Er Dai”

Key word: The “Fu Er Dai”, or Rich 2 G, AKA Rich second generation, are Chinese born into rich families after the 1980s, who tend to be eligible to inherit lots of money and assets from their parents.

As the Rich 2 G hit their 20s and 30s, they are stepping up to play a key role in the Chinese economy. Unlike their parents, they were born with a silver spoon, and also going through big family transactions of getting rich, and richer. Those parents are mostly starting their private business during the 1980s from scratch, and has came from having barely nothing to possess a really big fortune, and this surge from the bottom of the pyramid to the upper end nourished a bizarre value towards money and being rich. Consequently those parents are not really ready to give a correct education on money and behave when you are rich. Most sadly, the Chinese society today is truly money-oriented. The pursuit of happiness is almost the equivalent of the pursuit of money. And somehow under the drive of rich-hating, the Rich 2 G are inevitably placed in the target of attack. People disgust them or adore them in various ways. Then what did them do to make such big dramas for the stage? Will it be coincidently like the Gossip Girl in the Upper East Side, mostly “scandals” in the Page VI?

It is estimated that the 50% of the Rich 2 G worldwide will be in China at some point of the coming future. So frankly, being rich is not something new already, in Zhejiang Province where originates most of the very first private entrepreneurs in China, Fu Er Dai is like college students in China – not that rare. So one of the notorious idiosyncrasies has to be showing outward wealth, by what? Cars, purses and other luxury life styles! Several years ago, one tailored exclusive website “P1.cn” for the sort of “elites” went to the market. Lots of members are posting their pretty pics with all those big brands, of which many are those Fu Er Dai. But the more “senior” (richer) Fu Er Dai do not care about the entry level tags, instead they are fanatic about luxury cars, in Beijing where the real rich, powerful second generation inhabit, the membership key to the Super (Sports) Car Club (SCC) is a key to a Porsche 911 or a fancier one.

Fu Er Dai

Whereas I’m familiar with those scenes where a bunch of Middle-East wives of the rich oil whales with piles of Gucci in Haussmann Lafayette Paris, it still caught me stunned when a group of Chinese Fu Er Dai stride in Louis Vuitton in Helsinki for the most limited and pricy editions. For the consuming behavior, they probably share some of the universal “qualities” of the others in US or the European blueblood, but as being rich is just in, timeline speaking, they are just dumped their money and passion into the most expensive products which are still criticized as tasteless or worse by some Europeans or Americans. Once I met up with one of the international marketing promotion managers in Hennessy, he was extraordinary happy with the fact that he experienced in China, that the nouveau rich 2 generation enjoys luxury wines like Moet Champagne or even Lafite, one of the most expensive wine in the world, just like a daily beverage. As their European clientele are more senior and American one blingcious celebrities. Definitely the consuming behavior of the rich 2 G would much resemble a traditional rich 40-year old’s.

As there are too much hush critics towards those nouveaux rich, the positive sides are barely on the news. Lots of them stay low-profile, do trivial travails, try to prove it to the rest of the world that they can create something without the easy way, or at least they can inherit the family business and maintain it. Let’s be fair, it is hard to be totally disconnected with where you were born and who you are by god’s arrangements and some of them are seriously doing their best.

At this point of my writing, I feel like I’m maxing out of all those privileged life with luxury or exclusive products or services. You can most likely resonate with the general public in China, as they have to read and see with their eyes day after day. The government and the authority are trying to soothe this inequality of wealth with their every effort, however news splashes very frequently about how a Rich 2 G got away from a car accident where he or she should be guilty charged. Kind of another Paris Hilton story.

The Chinese Rich 2 G got so many spotlights and truly at some point the future of China is partially in their hands. Will the glorious stories of being rich continue into next decades or will it end here? Whichever the answer is, the world should be watching out for this group no matter how much you disgust or idol them.

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2 Responses to The idiosyncrasies of a Chinese persona – “Fu Er Dai”

  1. brandeisaer says:

    Increasing inequality is not unique to China. In fact, the income distribution in the US is even more extreme. Stories of the young and spoiled have been around for decades, yet, the fascination with getting rich has not withered a bit. Why do you think the case is any different in China?

    I once read a study about mixed feelings towards rich people in which the very poor’s vote can align with the rich while that of the middle class differs. The argument is that the poor want to become rich someday while the middle want to make sure they don’t fall to the bottom. So the feelings along that pyramid you mention are definitely not monotonous.

    I think your post can benefit from further exploring the legal / institutional causes of the frustration Chinese people have towards the Rich 2 G.

  2. shannontao says:

    Im currently writing my project proposal and would grateful for any academic texts or further readings about this topic of Fu Er Dai.
    Thank you!
    Shan

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