A Chinese kitchen and bathroom tile magnate has sent his daughter up the aisle with a dowry of more than one billion yuan (Rs 850 crore).
Wu Ruibiao (54), included as part of his largesse four boxes of gold which were placed on his daughter’s bed as well as a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz, which were handed over draped with red ribbons.
Wu’s daughter married her childhood sweetheart, a local government official called Xu from Jinjiang, an entrepreneurial city on China’s south coast.
An eight-day public wedding banquet began last Friday.But the generosity of the father did not end there. A bank account has been opened with an initial deposit of $3.086 million (Rs 16.7 crore) and five million shares in Wu’s company, Wanli, with an estimated value of $15.434 million (Rs 84 crore), were transferred.
Added to the gifts are a list of properties, including several villas and a shop in Quanzhou city. Wu also gave 15 million yuan to two local charities, for good luck.
In recent years, the billionaire entrepreneurs of Jinjiang have competed for bragging rights over who can amass the largest dowry. According to one Hong Kong newspaper, marrying a girl from Jinjiang is ‘better than robbing a bank’.
The full extent of Wu’s wealth is unknown. His daughter is already on the board of his tile company and recently masterminded a stock market listing in Korea. Wu’s wife also gave her blessing to the union. “He [the groom] is an outstanding young man,” she said.
“And he gets his bread from the government. As parents, we certainly want our child’s life to be more stable than our lives as entrepreneurs. And it was fate, too,” she added. Wu and Xu were classmates from nursery school until they left high school at 18. Wu then studied first at Xiamen University and then in the UK.
A spokesman for Wanli confirmed the size of Wu’s dowry, but said that the banquet was unlikely to last for eight days and that the businessman was keen to “keep things simple”.
In November 2011, another Jinjiang billionaire, Xu Liajie, bestowed a dowry of 200 million yuan (Rs 175 crore) on his daughter. Wu Jingbiao, another textile tycoon, endowed his daughter with a similar sum when she married last month.
Hengan International’s chairman paid 2.5 billion yuan for his niece’s wedding a year ago. On the Chinese Internet, the news of Wu’s generosity inspired a mixture of astonishment, jealousy and congratulation.
Zhao Wei, an entrepreneur who manages a hotel chain and has 12,000 followers on Sina Weibo, said: “You think this businessman is stupid? This is purely self-publicity. He will not spend a cent on advertising and gets all this media coverage.”
What’s in the dowry list?
>> Four large boxes of gold
>> A bankbook with deposits worth Rs 16.7 crore
>> An impressive property portfolio
>> 500 million shares in his ceramics firm
>> A Porsche and a Mercedes