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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
CHINA CORRUPTION: Chinese girl shows off wealth, lands in trouble!
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ANANTH KRISHNAN / The Hindu / BEIJING, July 4, 2011.
In this photo taken from Guo Meimei's microblog on Sina Weibo, a popular Chinese Twitter equivalent, she poses in front of her luxury sports car.
These past few weeks, China's attention has been squarely focused on the grand 90th anniversary celebrations of the Communist Party. In recent days, however, the spotlight has shifted to an unlikely candidate — a 20-year-old girl with a taste for the high life.
In a photograph posted on her microblog, Guo Meimei posed in front of her sparkling white Maserati sports car. In other pictures, she displayed her designer handbag collection, showed off her villa and sipped a drink in an airplane's business class.
All par for the course for China's newly-wealthy “fu er dai”, or rich second-generation, whose members are famous for flaunting their wealth at any given opportunity.
Where Ms. Guo was different was in revealing her job description — she claimed she was the business general manager at the government's biggest charity organisation, the Red Cross Society of China.
The microblog has triggered widespread outrage, with many netizens seeing it as the latest evidence of corruption in officialdom.
Statements from the Chinese Red Cross denying Ms. Guo ever worked for them have done little to soothe public anger, amid already high distrust of official charities following a string of recent scandals.
In April, the Chinese Red Cross was at the centre of a storm after an invoice detailing lavish dinners hosted by a local branch found its way online. It showed that staff at a Shanghai office had spent 9,859 yuan (Rs.69,013) on a single dinner. The organisation is now being investigated for overspending and for misallocating funds.