Thursday, 9 May 2013

Profiting on Mao's Name

Kong Meidong even has the same facial mark as Mao
What would Mao Zedong think of his granddaughter making their debut on the 2013 New Fortune 500 Rich List?

Kong Dongmei and her husband Chen Dongsheng are listed at 242nd with family assets estimated at around 5 billion RMB.

Chen is chairman of Beijing based Taikang Life Insurance and Kong is a major shareholder and executive.

Kong is the daughter of Li Min, Mao's only surviving child with second wife He Zizhen. Kong joined the start-up life insurance company in 1992 after graduating from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She also got a Masters from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999.

There's no further details on what she studied in these two institutions, but a curious combination to say the least.

Kong is also president of a cultural company in Beijing that has a bookstore dedicated to protecting communist culture, and she has capitalized on her pedigree by writing four best sellers on her grandfather.

Her appearance on the rich list contradicts what her cousin, Major General Mao Xinyu, said. The offspring of Mao's second son had told mainland Chinese media in 2009 that: "The Mao family heritage is honest and clean. None of the Mao family members have entered business. They all live on their modest salaries."

Or did he only mean to refer to those with the Mao family name and not necessarily those who were related to the Great Helmsman? Or did he not know Kong is his cousin?

In any event this latest revelation of Mao's family is very intriguing but not surprising. It also goes to further prove, those with pedigree or serious guanxi tend to earn way more than the average person. And "socialist" China wonders why it has such a big gap between the rich and the poor...

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