China Digital Space

Rich second generation

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fù èr dài 富二代

A rich dad and his son squeeze the little guy off the bench of social resources. (Source:

Sons and daughters of China's newly rich.

Before China's reform and opening, communism had substantially leveled the playing field, putting most people on more or less the same economic level. Since the launch of Deng Xiaoping's free market reforms in the late 1970s, the gap between rich and poor has become ever more apparent. The children of those who have prospered as a result of economic reforms are called the “rich second generation” and the children of those who did not prosper are called the “poor second generation.” Commentators complain that institutional barriers (for example, the high cost of education, or the value of connections) prevent the poor second generation from moving up.

The bad behavior displayed by some members of this privileged young cohort have caused much disdain in contemporary China, as has the occasional digital flaunting of privilege from among their ranks, as can be seen in a Weibo post from Shizhehunfrh (@诗哲魂frh):

The rich second generation lead a remarkable lifestyle. Recently quite a number of them have flaunted their wealth on social media websites. Now that you have seen the life of the rich kids, is there anything you would like to say?
富二代的生活尤其引人侧目,最³近社交网站上出现的 可谓是真正的炫富集中营。瞻仰完富孩子们的生活,你有什么想说的呢?[Chinese]

See also governing second generation and poor second generation.

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