Public astonished by fake ‘Shanghai debutantes’

By Huang Lanlan Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/13 0:04:01

Messages of a "Shanghai debutantes" WeChat group (photo: Weibo)

A post about how a group of young women in Shanghai pretend to be wealthy "debutantes" went viral on Chinese social media on Monday. The topic "Shanghai debutantes" had got as many as 1.3 billion views on Weibo as of 11 pm on Monday, with numerous netizens criticizing the vanity and money worship of these women.

The author of the post, "Li Zhonger," described his experience of lurking in a WeChat group which said its members are rich, young and beautiful ladies in Shanghai. The group members call themselves "Shanghai debutantes," and those who would like to join the group must pay 500 yuan ($74.2) as a kind of admission fee.

Most of the group members appear to be super wealthy, Li wrote, as their social media accounts are filled with fancy photos of them posing in Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury hotels or fast cars.

However, Li later found that they actually paid much less money than he thought by sharing the items and splitting the bill. For example, six people shared a 500-yuan luxury afternoon tea for two, four people shared a pair of 600-yuan second-hand branded stockings, and 60 people shared a day's rental of a Ferrari costing 6,000 yuan.

A set of afternoon tea for two certainly can't feed six adults, nor can a Ferrari squeeze in 60 passengers. "But they don't care," Li wrote. "All they want is to pose with these luxurious things for some amazing photos, which they can post on social media to get the [attention and envy] of others."

The behavior of these self-proclaimed "Shanghai debutantes" caused public disgust on Monday. Jia Shao, owner of a Shanghai-based private antique museum that limits the number of visitors to eight each time, complained that she had personally encountered a group of 30 women similar to these fake "debutantes," who wanted to crowd into her museum to take photos with only eight tickets.

"It's understandable that some women like to pursue a refined, luxurious lifestyle, but they should do that according to their capability, rather than blindly showing off the 'wealth' that doesn't belong to them," Jia told the Global Times on Monday.

Writer and career blogger Geng Xiangshun said that these young women pretend to be rich not only to satisfy their vanity, but also to get into upper-class social circles and get to know some real wealthy people. "They regard it as an opportunity to look for a rich boyfriend or a better job," Geng told the Global Times on Monday. 

Geng criticized their behavior as a sort of fraud that tries to get something for nothing. "True wealth is never merely about being materially rich; it's more about being spiritually substantial," he added.

Posted in: SOCIETY

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