A Visual Guide To China's Rich And Powerful Princelings

Bo Guagua Xilai Son

Photo: YouTube Screenshot

They are referred to as “princelings” for a reason — mainly because these children of Communist leaders are resented by many in China, and elsewhere, for the privileges they receive as a birthright. What they do with these privileges is what determines how the headlines about them are worded.Bo Guagua, son of the disgraced former Chongqing Party boss Bo Xilai, has been the most recent princeling to capture the limelight, but he is far from alone in this honour. Guagua, a 24-year-old post-graduate student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, has been called out for being “an academically indifferent bon vivant with a weakness for European sports cars, first-class air travel, equestrian sports and the tango,” according to the Times.

But, apparently, Sabrina Chen, granddaughter of one of the Eight Immortals (leaders who helped steer China out of upheaval in the 1980s), can keep up with him; the two were seen together cavorting in Tibet.

And then there’s Mao Zedong’s grandson, Mao Xinyu, who was recently taken to task in the press for his poor penmanship.

While her penmanship may be better, as daughter of Mao’s English tutor, Hong Huang regularly gets attention for being “China’s Oprah Winfrey” — a reputation that arguably takes more upkeep than, say, being known primarily for buying a really big house Down Under (that’s Zeng Wei, another spawn of the Eight Immortals).

More from GlobalPost: Did Wukan just win a victory for Chinese democracy?

Chart the course of these colourful characters — along with their peer Jasmine Li — in the infographic below.

Also, let the record show that Bo Guagua wrote an open letter to the Harvard Crimson earlier this week, defending his lifestyle (“I have never driven a Ferrari”) and hoping, it seems, to show that the apple can in fact fall far from the tree.

Click on the image for a larger version of the map.


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