- Screenshot, YouTube
Wang Sicong, the son of the richest man in China, did an incredibly frank interview with the BBC for its three-part documentary on Chinese youth.
He said that for people in his generation, escaping China’s strict political system “would be suicide.”
“Your parents would kill you,” he said. “There’s no way of succeeding outside the system.”
Wang’s father is Wang Jianlin, founder of the Chinese retail and real-estate conglomerate Dalian Wanda. He is estimated to be worth $31.5 billion.
Wang Sicong has his own professional online-gaming team, and in his interview he explained why the hobby was so popular in China: It allows people to escape that system.
For young people, living in the system doesn’t just mean loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and all of its teachings – it means an incredibly fierce competition to get into top schools in China and around the world. Young people study around the clock under intense pressure.
- REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
“The state chooses what’s mainstream and you have to conform to that,” he said from his luxurious high-rise apartment. “If your ideals are not mainstream, then you’re wrong.
“Of course, everyone has their own ideas, so what they do is they put on a mask and they go through life with a mask. Why is online gaming so popular in China? Because once you go online you can take off that mask and say what you really think.”
His tone isn’t angry. It is resigned.
“I think at some point, you just accept it,” he said, arguing that that acceptance was why protests are not prevalent in China.
Watch Wang’s interview below.