When a 19-year-old student from China crashed his Mercedes into a car in Washington State, killing a 25-year-old and injuring four others, the Chinese microblogging sphere took note. And when his parents arrived to pay his $2 million bail in cash, microbloggers immediately condemned him as a member of the fu’erdai, or “rich second-generation,” after discovering that his father is the chief executive of taxchina.com, a large tax and accounting firm. Ministry of Tofu has translated weibo posts on the case:
老燕915：No wonder there are so many exorbitant taxes and levies! Finally I have got some clue. If ordinary people don’t pay them or pay less, how will corrupt officials’ children be able to pay their bail when they commit a crime! Americans are really stupid. Next time when they have a similar case, investigate his family background first. Fine them 20 million or even 200 million dollars. After all, they have countless ill-gotten money.
第一只草泥马：The father has victimized countless fellow countrymen and used the money dripping with blood to send his brainless son abroad so that his son can brandish wealth, bully around, disregard the law and kill innocent people. The problem is, there are already too many shitty sons like him…
细马赶三老：I knew (the father) must be somebody. Where does the 12 million RMB (converted from 2 million USD) come from? Anyone has the guts to find it out?
Anger against wealthy and privileged offspring of China’s elite has been escalating online as more incidents of bad behavior come to light. Recent photos of a wealthy teenager posing with his prom date and boarding a private jet are just the latest example. From Tea Leaf Nation:
As fu’erdai increasingly become stand-ins for this lack of accountability, social media is becoming a dangerous place for children of the wealthy. A few days ago, photos posted by a 16-year-old fu’erdainamed Zhang Jiale went viral online, with many Web users ogling at his lifestyle and trying to investigate his family background. Chinese netizens have often conducted “human-flesh searches,” probing every detail of a person’s internet history, to expose corruption and other crimes. Thus far, Web users have not come up with any information to implicate Zhang Jiale.
Xu Danei, a columnist for the Chinese-language version of the Financial Times, cautioned:
In this society which has lost its accountability, [fu’erdai] must be deeply aware that they should not give the other side a chance. Enjoying their high lives, they must stay cautious and never slip, because if they do, there will be millions of hands to take people like Li Tianyi to hell. For grass-roots Chinese who feel deeply abused, this perhaps is their only opportunity to address the unjust gap they feel exists between themselves and the rich and powerful, even it’s only by oral ‘revenge.’
Read more about the “rich second generation” in China via CDT.