With a net worth of $46 billion, Wang Jianlin is the richest man in China. Mr. Wang has only one child, a son named Wang Sicong. The Wang family is wealthy thanks to their 100% ownership of the Dalian Wanda conglomerate, which is involved in a wide range of businesses from retail to hotels to a chain of movie theaters. Wang Jianlin owns 98% of Wanda's holding company and his 26-year-old son Wang Sicong owns the other 2%.
Sicong was born in 1988 and was sent to prestigious overseas schools at a young age. He attended elementary school in Singapore, Winchester College in the UK, and University College London, where he got his degree in philosophy. He then returned to China, where daddy made him a director of Wanda. Sicong draws a salary, but is not actually responsible for any projects or tasks within the company.
In addition to the no-show job, Wang Jianlin gave his only child money so that Wang Sicong could start Prometheus Capital, a small private equity fund. Sicong also runs a gaming company called Invictus.
However, business acumen isn't what Sicong is becoming known for. The younger Wang is notorious for his frequent rants on China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, where he has more than 500,000 followers and goes by the handle Sephirex. Having that many followers on Sina Weibo makes him a celebrity of sorts.
Sicong loves picking fights with the "fuerdai" – the children of the wealthiest Chinese families. Last year, he picked a fight with Wang Xiaofei, the son of celebrity chef Zhang Lan, accusing him of "impersonating a fuerdai" and being a "fake hipster."
He also once commented on a picture of an iPhone case made by the China Sports Car Club:"Whoever says this looks good has eyes growing on their assholes. Better to print, 'I'm nouveau riche, I have no taste' instead."
The younger Wang also considers himself a "gaofushuai," which literally translates to "tall, rich, and handsome." He never fails to point out his perceived superiority to those he considers to be the "diaosi," a term referring to young men from a humble background, with low income, and an unattractive appearance.
Sicong also loves to comment on online games. Last winter he announced that he was founding an elites only guild on the Korean multiplayer online role playing game Ragnarock. He asked male applicants to the guild to provide him with details of their assets.
Female applicants were asked to send him photos of themselves from the chest up. This wasn't his first brush with breast-related controversy. On Valentine's Day this year a reporter asked his to name his top criteria for picking a girlfriend. Sicong responded that the girl needed to have large boobs. The comments caused a firestorm in China and almost forced Sina Weibo (China's Twitter) to delete his account after more than 1 million people signed a petition in favor of his banishment.
He sparked even more controversy when he called the two Chinese commentators at the world championship for the online game Dota 2 in Seattle, "the worst in history." He went on to say:
"Do you think we stay up late at night to listen to you and your boyfriend chat? Please have some respect for eSports, for the players, as well as for those who stay up late at night to watch the matches. I have no idea how people like this were even invited to Seattle."
One of the commentators responded on the air to his comments, saying that no spoiled rich kid was going to make them change their style. Sicong took the bait and responded:
"Who the fuck are you trying to impress? I won't say any more about the fact that you don't understand Dota 2, but to display your lack of intelligence and manners on a live stream, stop losing face for China."
One of the most infamous quotes of Wang Sicong came when he was asked if he cares about how much money his friends have. He responded:
"When I make friends I don't care if they have money or not, no one is going to have more money than me anyway."
In May 2015, Wang stirred more controversy when he announced that he had bought his dogs two $12,000 gold-plated Apple Watches.
According to friends, Wang Jianlin's biggest regret in life is that he only had one child.
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin has never commented publicly on his son's controversial social media presence. He has, however, admitted to being concerned about making his only child his successor when he retires as planned at age 68, saying in an interview: "If he can make himself accepted by everyone at Wanda in the next five to eight years, he will succeed me, if he doesn't have that ability he won't."
Only time will tell.
What do you think? Is Wang Sicong a spoiled rich kid causing trouble for his father with his social media rants or is something lost in translation? Is what the Chinese media finds so controversial truly that bad to Westerners?