Many second-generation rich kids in China prefer to strike out on their own rather than join family businesses and live under the shadow of their parents.
A study by Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management has shown that only 20 percent of the children of Chinese entrepreneurs want to take over family business empires.
Seventy percent said they would like to start their own businesses, while the remaining 10 percent said they would pursue other careers, like becoming a doctor or lawyer.
So, why are the youth reluctant to take up family businesses?
A third of the respondents said their fathers won’t really let go and allow their children to run the business in their own way.
Another one-third of the respondents said they have doubts whether they are qualified or experienced enough to take the top job.
In a separate study, nearly half the respondents said they want to build their own businesses to prove themselves.
“Why can’t our parents give us also a chance to become self-made billionaires?” some argue.
Others are not interested in the family business because they don’t like the nature of the industry.
Pan Shiyi, founder of property company SOHO China, is not enthusiastic about the idea of his son starting a company himself.
“I think the chance for the second generation rich to successfully build their own businesses won’t be high, including for my son,” he says.
Breakthrough often only happens when one has nothing and no way to back down, Pan added.
China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, goes for a different approach.
Wang gave his son 500 million yuan to invest in whatever he wants. If the son doesn’t succeed in his efforts, he has to come back and work in the family’s Wanda Group.
The tycoon’s son, Wang Sicong, has set up Prometheus Capital and has invested in more than a dozen projects so far, mostly related to the video gaming industry.
It will take another few years before his property tycoon gets the answer as to the success of his son’s ventures.
Only when he gets the answer will he able to chalk out the succession plans at his flagship firm.
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