A Child of China’s Gilded Elite Strikes a Nerve Over Wealth and Privilege
Singer? Dancer? Model? The documentary doesn’t really make it clear.
“I don’t think it will affect society,” Ms. Hung said in a telephone interview. “I think it’s much more influenced by Chinese society, especially the internet world. She has just confirmed what the Chinese public expects from rich children in China. “
Ms. Yao is the youngest of three children of Ren Zhengfei, the staunch leader of Huawei, who has been compared to Steve Jobs for his role in building a company recognized in China for his ability to compete with large multinational telecommunications companies like Cisco , Nokia and Ericsson.
Ms. Meng and a half-brother, Ren Ping, are the children of Mr. Ren’s first marriage. The son is the president of Huawei’s subsidiaries, which own hotels and import food and wine.
Huawei has become the focus of a geopolitical battle between China and the United States as the Trump administration sought to curb the country’s technological advancement. Ms. Meng, who has been the company’s public face for years, was arrested in Canada in 2018 on an arrest warrant from the United States, where she is charged with financial fraud related to evading sanctions against Iran.
Ms. Meng’s fate during a long extradition process has tainted views of the United States. Chinese officials have portrayed her as the innocent victim of a highly politicized case that is damaging the company.
However, public sympathy for the Huawei dynasty waned after a company employee was detained for 251 days. He had sued the company over a bonus and was jailed for trade secret disclosure, though the charges were eventually dropped. It was a story that highlighted the concerns of a middle class who, for the first time after decades of explosive economic growth, were facing increasing economic hardship.
Ms. Yao, the daughter of Mr. Ren’s second marriage, was no doubt raised in privilege, perhaps more so than her older half-siblings. She traveled widely and, according to her own biographical descriptions, lived in Shanghai, Hong Kong and the UK. Her globetrotting was so great that she recently had to fend off questions from the Chinese news media about her nationality. She was born in Kunming, a city in southern China, and has a Chinese passport.