Millennium Post

Son of China’s richest man gifts pet dog 2 Apple watches

Lucky dog! The son of China’s richest man has bought two gold Apple watches for his pet dog and posted pictures of the Siberian Husky wearing the expensive gifts on its front legs, courting controversy. 27-year-old Wang <g data-gr-id="36">Sicong</g>, the only son to real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin, dotes on his dog so much that he bought not one, but two Apple Watches for her, according to People’s Daily Online.

Wang’s dog, called Wang Keke, looks somewhat perplexed as to the reason for his shiny ankle adornment. The set of five pictures was uploaded to the dog’s personal Weibo account via an iPhone 6, which is presumably also plated with gold. “I have new watches! I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs,” the caption reads, as translated by Shanghaiist.

Wang Sicong’s father, Wang Jianlin, is chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group - the largest real estate developer in China - and the richest man on the mainland and is worth $34 billion. Wang <g data-gr-id="47">Sicong</g> is a director at the family-owned firm as well as a prominent figure on Chinese social media. The gold Apple Watches retail between $10,000 and $17,000, and having two for a dog seems to be exactly the kind of extravagance and decadent behaviour deplored by China’s Communist Party-led government. 

Moreover,  the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) in China has passed the one million mark for the first time last year following a surge in the “innovative industries” sector, a study has shown. Defined as having more than 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) of investable assets, the country’s super rich totalled 1.04 million at the end of last year, or twice the number recorded in 2010, the China Private Wealth Report said.

The annual study is compiled by consulting firm Bain & Co and China Merchants Bank, state-run Shanghai Daily reported. China’s investable assets rose by 16 per cent annually between 2012 and 2014 to 112 trillion yuan last year, the report said, adding that the figure is set to grow to 129 trillion yuan this year. Many of the “new rich” came from innovative industries such as IT, biotechnology and alternative energy, the report said.

About 80 <g data-gr-id="46">per cent</g> of them are aged under 50. “China’s HNWIs are driving the growth of the country’s real economy, particularly in key innovative sectors, which is helping to fuel the economy and advance innovation,” said Alfred Shang, a partner at Bain and co-author of the report. “Among the newly rich, we’re seeing a more aggressive investment style, openness toward alternative investments, and increased focus on wealth creation, second only to wealth preservation as their primary wealth management objectives,” he said. Guangdong province has the most wealthy individuals, with more than 100,000, though Shanghai and Beijing, and the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shandong and Sichuan each have more than 50,000, the report said.

Meanwhile, according to the 2015 Billionaire Report released yesterday by UBS and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Asia will overtake the US as the world’s cradle for wealth generation in the next five to 10 years. In China in the first three months of this year, a new billionaire was created almost every week, the report said. As of last year, the US was home to 47 per cent of the world’s self-made billionaires, followed by Asia with 36 per cent and Europe with 17 per cent. 
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