Mao Zedong’s granddaughter has become one of China’s richest people, according to an annual ranking of the nation’s richest 500.
Kong Dongmei, the granddaughter of the founder of the People’s Republic and his third wife He Zizhen, along with her husband Chen Dongsheng have the combined wealth of five billion yuan (US$815 million), putting them at number 242 in the annual ranking by the Guangdong-based New Fortune magazine.
Their marriage has only become publicly known last year. It was rumoured the couple of 15 years could only marry after Chen divorced his previous wife in 2011.
Chen is the founder of China’s first national auction house Guardian and the country’s fourth largest insurance house Taikang.
Ms Kong is is believed to have made part of her fortune from selling publications about her famous grandfather.
After obtaining a masters degree at U.S. University of Pennsylvania, Kong returned to China and opened up her own bookstore in Beijing in 2001, set up to promote ‘New Red Culture’.
In a rare interview with China Daily, Kong Dongmei revealed that it was Mao who gave her the name Dongmei – after himself.
‘Grandfather chose the name Dongmei. Dong from his own name, and mei from his favorite flower, the plum blossom,’ she told the paper in 2010.
Speaking about her dream to promote ‘Red Culture’ she said her aim was to ‘offer a modern and diversified perspective on revolutionary history’.
Kong and her husband is also said to have three children, a son and two daughters, a violation of China’s one-child policy.
Kong’s inclusion on the rich list triggered hot debate on Weibo – China’s version of Twitter, with some accusing her of betraying her grandfather’s status as the ‘great teacher of proletariat revolution’.
‘The offspring of Chairman Mao, who led us to eradicate private ownership, married a capitalist and violated the family planning policy to give birth to three illegal children,’ wrote Luo Chongmin, a government adviser in southwest China.
China has implemented the one-child policy for many urban residents for over 30 years, although there have been recent suggestions that the rules may be loosened.
‘Did Kong Dongmei … pay any fines after being a mistress for more than 10 years and giving birth to three kids?’ asked another user with the online handle Virtual Liangshao.
But others argued that the millions were actually her husband’s, who made his fortune before they were married.
‘Kong just married a wealthy husband. You can’t attribute it to Mao,’ said Weibo user Wang Nanfang in a posting.
“The House of Mao will never engage in business,” Mao’s only known grandson Mao Xinyu, a major general in the People’s Liberation Army, reportedly pledged, perhaps to avoid suspicion of exploiting the illustrious ancestor for personal gain.
Xinyu’s comments came at a time when China was debating the legacy and business ties of disgraced Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, himself the son of one of the founding fathers of Communist China, Bo Yibo.
In stark contrast to their aristocratic background, the man who topped the list of China’s richest, Zong Qinghou, started his career as a salt harvester in Zhejiang province.
With an estimated wealth of 70 billion yuan, the co-founder of the Wahaha beverages group has 14-times the wealth of the Great Helmsman’s offspring.Source: SCMP “Mao Zedong’s granddaughter among China’s richest people” Source: Daily Mail “Isn’t she supposed to be a communist? Mao Zedong’s granddaughter appears at 242 on Chinese rich list with fortune of £525MILLION
- Mao’s grandson is a laughing stock in today’s China (chinadailymail.com)
- Mao Zedong’s granddaughter Kong Dongmei is 242 on Chinese rich list with £525m fortune (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Mao Zedong’s granddaughter Kong Dongmei is 242 on Chinese rich list with £525m fortune (dailymail.co.uk)
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- Mao Zedong’s grand-daughter worth more than $815 million according to China’s ‘New Fortune’ magazine (rawstory.com)
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- Granddaughter of Mao under fire over rich list (dawn.com)
- Living on ‘modest salaries’? Chairman Mao’s granddaughter lands spot on Chinese rich list (behindthewall.nbcnews.com)
- Mao grand-daughter accused over China rich list (sinodaily.com)
- Communism For Some, $815 Million For Others: How Mao’s Granddaughter ‘Greatly Leapt Forward’ To Untold Riches (infiniteunknown.net)
Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues