Paying millions of dollars to secure their children a spot at an elite college may
sound absurd to many parents, but some are willing to do this.
Nicole Shen, the Chinese mother of a high school student in Palo Alto, California, said she would be wi
lling to pay a pretty penny upfront to get her daughter admitted to a top-tier university if she could afford it. “As long as eve
rything is legal,” she added.Zhao, 52, was introduced to William “Rick” Singer, a college consultant in California and the mast
ermind behind the scandal, by Michael Wu, who worked as an adviser at the Los Angeles area branch of in
vestment bank Morgan Stanley, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wu has since been fired.
Two wealthy Chinese families have recently been in the spotlight and t
he subject of widespread discussion after media reports showed they paid huge am
ounts in a high-profile college admissions scandal. The sums they paid dwarfed the typical amount footed by US parents.
The highest-known payoff to date is the $6.5 million by billionaire Zhao Tao, president and co-founder of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals Co.
A college admissions cheating scheme in the United States has triggered widespread discussio
n among Chinese netizens during the four-day May Day holiday after it was reported that a w
ealthy family paid $6.5 million to assure their daughter’s admission to Stanford University.
Billionaire Zhao Tao, 52, president and co-founder of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals, a company that spec
ializes in traditional Chinese medicine to fight cardiovascular disease, reportedly funneled money to William Ric
k Singer, the admissions consultant who is at the center of the explosive case brought by US federal prosecutors.
The executive’s daughter, Zhao Yusi, also known as Molly Zhao, got a spot at Stanford University by presenting h
erself as a recruit for the school’s sailing team. The price was $6.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Zhao’s mother, identified as Mrs Zhao in a statement delivered through her attor
ney, said the family gave $6.5 million to Singer for the school’s scholarship fund and other purposes.
lennial enjoyed buying many Palace Museum souvenirs, gifts and other creative produ
cts. “I tried quite a few from makeup kits, lipstick, blush, to various creative gadgets. They are good so
uvenirs in combining the Palace Museum culture and history with their functions,” Dong said.
According to He Jianmin, a professor specializing in cultural tourism research at the Shanghai University of Finance and Econo
mics, said both the Palace Museum and Shanghai Disneyland have high reputation among visitors. Since both bo
ast intellectual property rights over their creative products, counterfeits are virtually unknown.
Shanghai Disneyland, a $5.5 billion theme park, received more than 11 milli
on visitors in its first year of operation (2016-17), and is “close” to the break-even point.