There have been a few recent articles taking a deeper look into China’s princelings which underscores some of the issues surrounding privacy for China’s wealthy.
Despite the cultural propensity to celebrate wealth, there are several situations where privacy and discretion are necessary for China’s wealthy:
- Government officials and their children typically seek to keep their wealth private due to political sensitivities. Notwithstanding a host of issues around corruption, China has more than 800 million citizens who are farmers in small towns across China who the government needs to keep happy. If government leaders and their families are seen to be recklessly spending money, this presents significant risk to their political position.
- Very successful business people often do not want to bring attention to their wealth. The Confucius saying of “the nail that sticks up highest gets hammered down” applies to this group, and they don’t want any unwanted attention to get in the way.
- Certain industries in China are more politically sensitive than others, including media, telecom, Internet, defense and others. Business people in these industries rely heavily on government relations, so need to be especially careful of government perceptions.
- The Chinese government will be changing leadership in 2012, making the overall political climate more sensitive and highly charged. As a result, many wealthy Chinese are currently moving their assets overseas, purchasing real estate, sending their children to college and investing in hard assets.
- More and more wealthy Chinese are sending their kids to school overseas, particularly in the US. Families often set up a home base close by.
Read the articles mentioned here: