Wang Sicong, the son of China’s richest man, usually says exactly what is on his mind, except that in a frank interview with the BBC for their three-part documentary series about Chinese youth, he’s addressing a different, more controversial subject: China’s government.
In the interview for the first installment of the channel’s “Secrets of China,” Wang says that trying to escape the country’s system would be “suicide” and that “there is really no way of succeeding outside the system.”
Wang, who was educated in the UK, is the son of Wang Jianlian, the founder of Chinese retail, real estate and movie theater conglomerate Dalian Wanda. He has an estimated net worth of $25.9 billion.
When asked in the interview about how Chinese children grow up to be individuals despite the country’s strict government, the 27-year-old Wang, an avid gamer and the owner of esports team Invictus Gaming, said:
“The state chooses what’s mainstream, and you have to conform to that. If your ideals are not mainstream, then you’re wrong. But of course, everyone has their own ideas, so what they do is they put on a mask and they go forward in life with the mask. Why is online gaming becoming so popular in China? Because once you go online you can take off that mask and say whatever you really think instead of what is mainstream.”
Asked about China’s lack of freedom, Wang said:
“I think at some point you just accept it. That’s why you don’t see many people protesting in China, I suppose … because they realize — some point in time, some point in (their social) class — that even by protesting they can’t change much.”
Wang’s interview with the BBC can be watched in full below.