Back to class for China's rich kids to 'learn responsibility'

Back to class for China's rich kids to 'learn responsibility'
The students are made to learn traditional Confucian values such as filial piety and the importance of philanthropy.
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - Afraid that their children would squander their family's wealth, many businessmen from China's Fujian province have sent their kids to a course held in Beijing to learn traditional virtues and discipline.

This month, more than 70 children of Fujian businessmen gathered in Beijing's Jade Palace Hotel to attend the class conducted by the government office of Xiamen city's Siming district, which has produced the most entrepreneurs in Fujian, reported the Beijing Youth Daily.

Most of the students are in their late 20s and have studied in overseas universities, said the newspaper.

Nevertheless, they were made to read Confucian classics such as the Book Of Filial Piety and learn traditional rites such as serving tea to seniors.

Even the founders of well-known Fujian brands such as Septwolves and Anta have sent their children for the course, said the Beijing Youth Daily.

Absence from class and unruly behaviour would lead to hefty fines, often amounting to thousands of yuan.

"Rich children often have a sense of superiority, and strict punishment is to make them learn responsibility," said You Xiaobo, one of the instructors of the course, which was launched in 2013.

The students also learn fiscal discipline and the importance of philanthropy.

Last week, the United Front Work Department - the arm of the Chinese Communist Party which manages relationships with elites outside the party - vowed to step up guidance for the children of those who have acquired wealth in the past few decades.

The move came after President Xi Jinping told the department to "guide private-sector businessmen, especially the younger generation, to help them think about the source of their wealth and how to behave after becoming affluent".

China's so-called "second-generation rich" are often seen as spoilt, arrogant and wilful.

An estimated 85 per cent of China's private enterprises were family-run companies, and most of them would face succession issues within the next five to 10 years, said the department in an article.

myp@sph.com.sg

 


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