As with all economies on a rapid upward trajectory, there is a emergence of a uber-wealthy elite in China. These newly wealthy Chinese have contributed greatly to China’s emergence as a key economic player on the international stage through their entrepreneurial enterprises. However, they recently have received press for less admirable finical behavior. The internet has exploded with a story of unfathomable wealth, and possibly irresponsible spending, of one of China’s elite.
Not so long ago, China was widely considered a third-world nation devoid of the luxuries those living in more developed nations enjoy. And while many in China still experience a pitiful standard of living, one individual in China showed the world how well some in the country are living. This man, who has only been identified as a 56 year old property developer, recently purchased at auction a Tibetan Mastiff for 12 million yuan, approximately $1,900,000. At 2 million yuan more than the previous record holder, this is the highest price paid for a dog in history. While difficult to rationalize the enormous sum paid for the dog, Tibetan Mastiffs have become a status symbol for Chinese elites as the dogs are said to bring health and security to their owners. This dog fetched the unprecedented price due to claims of lions blood in its heritage. While this purchase seems irrational to many, the story shows China’s super-elite are alive and well.