Presence of Mao’s granddaughter on rich list draws fire

AFP, BEIJING

Sat, May 11, 2013 - Page 6

The appearance of a granddaughter of former Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) on a list of the country’s richest citizens prompted online accusations of hypocrisy on Thursday.

Kong Dongmei (孔東梅) and husband Chen Dongsheng (陳東升) ranked 242nd with personal wealth estimated at 5 billion yuan (US$815 million) on a rich list released by New Fortune, a Chinese financial magazine.

In 2001 Kong founded a bookstore in Beijing selling publications about Mao and promoting “Red Culture.”

In 2011, Kong married Chen, who controls an insurance company, an auction house and a courier firm, after they had maintained an extramarital relationship for 15 years, according to the magazine.

The couple have two daughters and a son, New Fortune said — likely to be a violation of China’s one-child policy.

Kong’s inclusion on the rich list triggered debate on Chinese microblogs, with some accusing her of betraying her grandfather’s status as the “great teacher of proletariat revolution.”

“The offspring of Chairman Mao, who led us to eradicate private ownership, married a capitalist and violated the family planning policy to give birth to three illegal children,” wrote Luo Chongmin, a government adviser.

“Did Kong Dongmei ... pay any fines after being a mistress for more than 10 years and giving birth to three kids?” asked another user with the online handle Virtual Liangshao.