Recently, a Chinese state-owned company employee showing off his wealth was a trend on the Chinese Internet. However, this incident highlighted the problem of the favoritism granted to relatives in the world of state-owned enterprises.

According to a Chinese overseas news outlet, on July 25, Zhou Jie’s posts on WeChat Moments between 2019 and 2021 started to circulate widely on the internet. The content deliberately showed off his wealth and boasted of his extensive political and business connections. Still, he was only a grass-roots employee of the “Jiangxi Provincial State-owned Capital Operation and Holding Group.”

On July 27, the WeChat public account of “Jiangxi Guokong” issued a report verifying the matter. In addition to confirming Zhou Jie’s identity and his family’s 6 properties and 2 shops, the report also announced his parents’ and three uncles’ occupations. They all work in state-owned companies in Jiangxi’s public transportation system and are primarily middle and upper-level officials.

Hence, according to Zhou Jie, he can enter a state-owned financial company, while ordinary people need “a master’s degree in finance from China’s top universities.”

Although this is a common phenomenon in China, few people have spoken about it publicly. This incident involved a vast family network of political and business relationships within several state-owned enterprises. It also pierced the window paper on the nepotism in Chinese state-owned companies.

Li Yanming, an expert on China in the United States, believes that the problem of granting favoritism to family members in state-owned enterprises has always existed in the so-called “state-owned” system of the Chinese government. In the restructuring of “state-owned enterprises” that began in China in the 1980s, Chinese elites were given unregulated power to transfer “national resources.”

He added, “China’s key industries, such as electricity, transportation, oil, telecommunications, finance, etc., are divided up by China’s powerful families.”

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