Editor’s note: From eating earth in Switzerland to drinking human milk and throwing illicit parties to buying private island resorts, it seems there’s no lifestyle outrageous or extravagant enough for some members of China’s super rich community. The following article, which was edited and translated from dwnews.com, outlines six of the most flamboyant (and most publicized) lifestyles enjoyed by the country’s billionaires.
1) Drinking human milk
As widely reported, drinking human milk has become popular among rich people in Shenzhen. An industry insider claimed that human milk “is particularly popular among those who’ve just had operations” and that it’s “the best tonic; even better than bird’s nest.” It was also revealed that the milk can be drunk “directly from the nipple” as long as you can afford it.
In 2011, an ice-cream parlor in London’s Covent Garden area served ice-cream made from human milk. The ice-cream was confiscated by authorities five days later amid concerns the dessert was unsafe. It was also reported that viruses including hepatitis can be passed on through breast milk.
Reports about the hiring of wet nurses in Shenzhen for fresh human milk were later denied by a local household service company associated with the story, but online photos and anonymous quotes from alleged clients suggest otherwise.
2) Eating dirt in Switzerland
A bank in Switzerland invited 20 “high net worth” clients from the Mainland to travel to their Alpine headquarters. There, they were instructed to collect earth and “grass” to eat later.
The group were taken around by a guide who referred to himself as a “crazy Alchemist chef”. He took them horse riding through nature, collecting herbs and soil. He then put a chunk of meat into the soil and prepared lunch for them.
According to a South China Morning Post report, these clients had assets above 50 million USD and are part of a new consumer group who roam the world for novel experiences.
3) Illicit parties
The annual Rendez-Vous Lifestyle and Yacht Show in Sanya is an exclusive party for the super rich that showcases luxury yachts, private jets, cars and other extravagant items. Wealthy people from across the country flock here to do business, network or simply party.
The lid was blown on the illicit nature of these parties this year when the Shanghai Daily published a story that claimed the event was a massive sex party where one model can earn up to 600,000RMB in three days for participating in orgies. However, these allegations were denied by celebrities in attendance and hard evidence has yet to surface. One thing is clear though, if you’re just a “commoner” with anything under a few hundred million RMB in your bank account, don’t expect an invitation.
4) Buying cruise ships and planes
Chinese comedian Zhao Benshan spent more than 200 million RMB on a business plane, a Bombardier Challenger 850. But the initial price tag isn’t the only expensive thing about it: maintenance fees including pilot salaries and insurance cost around 5 million RMB; fuel costs approximately 15,000 RMB per hour.
Jackie Chan also bought a business jet for 200 million RMB, a Brazilian made model that includes two giant dragon images on the outside and the Chinese character for dragon as well as his name ‘Jackie’.
5) Buying an island resort
Zhejiang billionaire Huang Yimin made his fortune in the petrochemical industry. In 2011 he became the first Chinese person to own his very own island. For 3.44 million RMB, Huang “bought” the Danshanmen Island near Ningbo which he can claim as his own for the next 50 years. Huang reportedly pumped a fortune into the 80,000 square meter island, transforming it into a private zoo with wild boars, chicken, dear and other wild animals.
However, the most famous Chinese island owner is Huang Nubo. After Iceland filed for bankruptcy Huang attempted to buy a chunk of the country to turn it into a golf course and recreation area. However, his bid was rejected but Huang was later granted a lease deal that allows him to rent out part of a 300 square kilometre farm for 40 years.
6) Upscale members’ clubs
Members clubs are said to look like a billionaire’s living room; they give rich people a private space to make friends, conduct business deals, make connections and of course, relax. You’ll find a ridiculous number of themes in the décor of China’s members clubs, such as cigar, race horse and sailing themes. Membership at these clubs cost anything from 100,000 RMB to over a million RMB per annum but money is not enough to get you a golden ticket.
This year, Chinese media reported that many of Beijing’s parks are home to exclusive VIP clubs, most of which have a minimum expenditure fee of 2000-3000 RMB per visit. Despite being nestled in popular recreation spots in the Chinese capital, most people will never even get close enough to peak their head through the door.
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Keywords: drinking human milk China’s wealthy china’s super rich
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There's nothing wrong with having money and enjoying life. However I find it very sad that many Chinese are just so caught up in materialism and trying to impress all in the name of "face". How many of these people have donated money to a worthy charity, or put some money back into the community that has created their wealth? Bill Gates is reported to be the biggest contributor to charities worldwide, and his humanitarian work is a credit to himself. Unfortunately, Chinese are extremely self centred, and the thought of helping those less fortunate doesn't occur to them.
Sep 03, 2013 10:43 Report Abuse