Tuhao has been a hot word all over the media, it represents rich Chinese who love to show off their wealth on internet while claiming to be poor.
According to an article from Sydney Morning Herald, China’s vulgar rich: befriended but unloved, a crowdsourced translation call on China’s social media yielded “new money,” “slumdog millionaire,” the “riChinese” and “billionbilly.” When English falls short, French is on hand to help: Tuhao have the artistic sensibilities of the arriviste, the social grace of the parvenu, and the spending habits of the nouveau riche.
Tuhao is referred over 56 million times on Sina Weibo, everybody wants to be friends with tuhao, but nobody really likes them. They have caused attention of many foreign media, BBC made a special program about Chinese tuhao.
The popularity of tuhao began early in September, Sina Weibo started an acitivity “Let’s be friends with tuhao”. It’s similar to diaosi, which is a kind of insult of poor and unattractive young man who are struggling for life in cities in the beginning. Then it raged all over online, all of sudden, many young people self-deprecated themselves as diaosi. Diaosi, or “be friends with tuhao”, separate common people with rich class in China.
The most famous Chinese tuhao is a woman from Anhu province in early October 2013. Chinese media reported an anonymous woman gave 4 million yuan (USD 652,193) worth Bentley to her son-in-law as wedding gift. Whether the story is true or not, we could not know. But it was a sensation across internet, arousing mixed feelings with mock, envy, jealousy and hatred. Another father in Liaoning province, bought a kindergarten for his 4-year-old daughter to offer her a nice education environment. He said it was a nice kindergarten in many aspects after he searched for a long time and quite cheap, it merely cost him 10 million yuan (USD 16.03 million).
On September 20, 2013, Apple launched a new golden iPhone 5S, it was quite popular and soon sold out in China. The official price for golden iPhone 5s is 5,288 yuan (USD 862), in China, golden iPhone 5S price is above 8,800 yuan (USD 1,435).
On September 22, 2013, Chinese richest man Wang Jianlin celebrated his new Chinese Hollywood in Qingdao with top Hollywood stars, such as Nicole Kidman and Leonardo DiCaprio. Wang Jianlin, founder of Dalian Wanda Group, invested 30 billion yuan (USD 4.89 billion) in Qingdao film and entertainment industry park.
A research done by A.T.Kearney in October 2013 showed that 2% Chinese consumed one third of global luxury brands.
Tuhao is just another online word for Chinese rich people, especially for those who became rich quickly. Common people have different attitudes towards tuhao, they laughed at them, mocking their tastes, at the same time, they want to be friends with tuhao. The gap between the rich and poor has deepened, a part of Chinese became rich during the early stage of China reform and opening-up policy. Rich people live a luxury life while most of Chinese young people are struggling for life, they could only make their life less miserable by calling the rich tuhao.
2013 Forbes’ China Rich List collected 168 billionaires, much more than last year’s 113 billionaires. The total wealth of top 400 Chinese rich people mounted to 3.475 trillion yuan (USD 567 billion).