The Son Of China’s Richest Man Refuses $31.5 Billion Inheritance

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“I have asked my son about the succession plan, and he said he does not want to live a life like I do," Wang said at China Entrepreneurs Summit in Beijing.

 

 

The wealthiest man in China is in need of an heir — after his only son refused to take the reins of his billion dollar business empire.

Wang Jianlin, founder and CEO of Dalian Wanda Group with a net worth of $31.5 billion, said his 28-year-old son, Wang Sicong, does not want to live his life in the lap of luxury. Thus, he is not willing to take over his father’s real estate businesses, which include hotels, theme parks, shopping malls and sports clubs.

"I have asked my son about the succession plan, and he said he does not want to live a life like I do," Wang said at China Entrepreneurs Summit in Beijing. "Perhaps young people have their own quests and priorities. Probably it will be better to hand over to professional managers and we sit on the board and see them run the company.”

'We have several professional managers as candidates,” he added. “'The one who is handpicked and later trained to be a business leader should be no better than those who manage to stand out of the others through competition.”

This is a bold move on Sicong’s part, who has proven he has an open hand when it comes to money.

In May 2015, the 28-year-old bought his dog, Wang Keke, two apple watches to wear on his front legs. The Weibo picture of the animal wearing the smart watches, which cost between $1,040 to $1,650, produced a backlash in China where the average monthly salary of a worker is less than a single watch’s price.

However, the son, who has a degree in philosophy from the University of London, is successful in his own right since he has over 21 million followers on his Weibo account and is the founder of an eSports team, Invictus Gaming.

More than 80 percent of Chinese heirs are not keen on inheriting their parents’ businesses, according to a 2015 survey by Peking University.

Some children dread the intense pressure while others have varying career interests. Some people even blame the generation gap and Western education for this reluctance.

Wang Yung Ching, the late legendary founder of the Formosa Group, cautioned “the worst thing for a successful entrepreneur is to ask his son with an American MBA to take over his business.”

If this trend continues, it may very well mean the end of family-run businesses in China.

Banner credit: Reuters

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