How children’s education became the new luxury status symbol for Chinese parents

What’s the latest luxury status symbol in China? According to Chinese parents, it’s their children

According to koodakpress، What’s the latest luxury status symbol in China? It’s not a handbag by Louis Vuitton or Gucci. According to Chinese parents, it’s their children. Shelling out a small fortune for their children’s schooling, summer vacations, and extracurriculars is the latest trend for Chinese parents looking to distinguish themselves.

This summer, an article titled, “A Monthly Salary of 30,000 RMB (US$4,493) is Not Enough for My Child’s Summer Vacation” went viral on WeChat Moments. Written by a high-paid executive mom, it tells the story of how she can hardly keep up with the extravagant overseas summer programmes that she lines up for her daughter.

The mother says the total cost of her daughter’s education for the summer is 35,000 yuan (roughly US$5,240 USD), including 20,000 yuan (US$3,000) for a 10-day US study tour and other tutoring classes that cost up to 10,000 yuan (US$1,500).

A hospital staff member teaches primary school children how to do eye exercises, at a primary school in Handan, in China’s northern Hebei province. Photo: AFP

Immediately after the post was published, Chinese netizens responded furiously, with many Weibo users asking, ‘Can an expensive summer vacation really make your kids ‘better’ than others?”

Other internet users wondered about the intentions of parents making such a sacrifice. “Is this to fulfil the parents’ vanity or to make the children happy?”

Parents like Linda Xu strongly oppose such criticism. Xu, who works as an operations manager in an international automobile company in Beijing, told Jing Daily that she spent less than that of the mom in the post, though the cost of different tutoring classes that she selected for her eight-year-old son to take during the summer “definitely exceeded 20,000 RMB.”

She rationalised her decision by saying, “This is the luxury I didn’t get to enjoy when I was young, and I hope to start early on my kid’s elite education so that he can stand out among his peers as he grows older.”

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