Antics of the 'capital playboys' disgust China



One of Beijing's top property developers has being charged with weapons offences after a late-night car race with another real estate mogul's son ended in flames and a heated row between the two notorious playboys.

The incident, reported by the Chinese media yesterday, has further angered Beijing residents, who complain that the so-called "capital playboys" – an elite group of young property developers from rich families with money to burn, time to kill, film-star girlfriends and a sense of entitlement – treat the city as their personal playground.

Wang Ke and Wang Shuo were allegedly racing their cars on the streets of Beijing's popular shopping district Wangfujing in December when they both crashed near a busy intersection. The two men, who share the common Chinese surname Wang but are not related, got into a row.

Wang Shuo then allegedly pointed a gun through the car window at Wang Ke, who called the police. Wang Shuo then put his car into reverse and rammed Wang Ke's car, according to the charge sheet, and fled the scene leaving the vehicle burning in the street. He turned himself in the following day.

The skirmish in the capital's prime retail area, with apparently no consideration for the potential danger to passers-by, underlines feelings that the children of the "new rich" and the offspring of the Communist political elite follow a different code to everyone else in China.

One web commentator, Suipaila, wrote: "This is socialism for the rich. Wang is brought up with money and power." Another blogger, Miyan, wrote: "The law is only written to rule the ordinary people – if a dog bites, who will punish them?"

Earlier this month, Li Tianyi, the son of the popular singer Li Shuangjiang, was given a year of re-education through labour after driving a BMW car without a licence and hitting a couple in Beijing's Haidian district.

Wang Shuo, 29, deputy general manager of Beijing Wangfu Century Development, will stand trial for illegally possessing weapons and destruction of personal property, the China Daily reported.

A police search of his home yielded four guns, 2,000 air-gun pellets and six live rounds of ammunition. Guns are strictly controlled in China and are not widespread. Five others stand accused of helping Wang Shuo buy the weapons and destroying evidence. All six have been released on bail.

Wang Ke took to Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo to defend himself against the "playboy" tag.

"I am married, and I have my own business. I struggled through the economic crisis. I've experienced hard times and I know what it tastes like. I'm not what people think I am, don't put a feudal hat on my head," he wrote.

Tang Hongxin, a criminal lawyer at the Ying Ke law firm, told the China Daily that Wang Shuo could be facing more than seven years in prison if he is convicted. "Everyone is equal before the law. There are no exceptions for rich men," he insisted.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power