Rich mainland Chinese girl in the US flaunts her wealth on social media
Blanche Yuan was born into money and enjoys spending it and telling the world about it. She can’t understand why that upsets some people
Blanche Yuan has no qualms about posting photos of her luxury purchases and nightlife antics on social media. The budding mainland Chinese entrepreneur, who is based in Washington DC, doesn’t understand why it attracts so much hostility.
“People assume I’m flaunting my wealth, but that’s just how my life is. I try to be low-key now, but sometimes I can’t help telling the world what I have bought because of my vanity.”
The 23-year-old left Beijing at the age of 17 to attend high school in the US, where, she says, she has had more than 20 boyfriends. She is now a business student at a private research university in DC (but doesn’t want to reveal its name). She lives in a seaside condominium bought by her parents for HK$5 million and receives monthly pocket money of HK$230,000.
Three or four nights a week, she hits the swanky clubs and bars of the American capital with her rich Chinese friends. She recalls how, on her birthday in April, she picked up a few friends in her Porsche. Dressed in a new custom-made dress and high heels, with exquisite eyelashes and bright red lipstick applied by a make-up artist she hired, they hit the town for another sleepless night of drink-fuelled bar hopping.
Yuan is typical of the wealthy young mainland Chinese who are widely scorned in the West for their extravagant and sometimes reckless lifestyles. In 2012, Chinese student Yichun Xu made headlines after crashing his Mercedes-Benz into another car in Des Moines, Iowa, killing a woman and injuring four others. He had no international driving licence and tried to bribe an officer on the scene. He was released on bail of US$2 million, paid by his mother.
Yuan says the media focus too much on the negative stories about rich kids.
“Recently, the hostility towards wealthy Chinese has got worse. We are loathed. Although I have some super-rich friends living in huge houses and with piles of luxury watches, many also work hard building their own businesses,” she says.
“Most of them are enterprising and have a lot of aspiration. We were born into a rich environment through no fault of our own. Different living environments nurture people with different characteristics and lifestyles.”
In 2013, Yuan’s parents gave her about HK$4 million to start an investment company so she could gain experience in becoming an entrepreneur. “Since I was young, my parents have been able to give me whatever I’ve wanted. I was the family’s little empress. I used to embrace a lavish lifestyle, but now I want to be financially independent. Although the investment company is a small business, I can use the earnings to help pay my living expenses, and don’t have to take pocket money from my parents all the time now.”