2nd generation of the rich to receive lessons in life

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Hundreds of children of the wealthy, or fu'erdai in Chinese, will receive training in Beijing next month on how to become as successful as their parents.

The three-day training class, which is due to start on July 16, is being jointly sponsored by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce and the China Association for the Promotion of Non-Governmental Sci-tech Enterprises (CAPNSE).

Fu'erdai refers to the second-generation children of the wealthy whose companies blossomed during the period of reform and opening up.

So far, a total of 575 heirs to fortunes from 33 provinces and cities registered for the class, Yuan Qingpeng, deputy chairman of CAPNSE, told China Daily on Monday.

According to Yuan, the class is broken down into six sections, including cultivating a strong sense of responsibility in the fu'erdai as the heirs to the fortunes amassed by their parents, as well as management training and learning how to bear hardship, which includes a 40-km hike in the lesson plan.

"From the number of applicants, the class appears to be quite popular, though all of them were signed up by their parents," Yuan said.

Private enterprise has expanded rapidly in China since 1987, when the government gave its support to the development of non-State-owned businesses.

According to statistics from the third MBA Forum of Jiangsu province held in May, it is estimated that 3 million private enterprises in China will need to hand on the reins of power from the founding generation of entrepreneurs to the fu'erdai over the next five to 10 years.

While 90 percent of the company founders hope their children will continue the businesses, up to 95 percent of their children are unwilling to do so, statistics show.

One of the reasons the children are unwilling to follow in their parents' footsteps is because the average life of most private enterprises is only 3.5 years, much shorter than the average 40 to 50 years of some foreign companies.

"Currently, inheritance has become a difficult problem, severely hindering the future development of private enterprise in China," Chengdu Evening News quoted an unnamed official from the Chengdu Federation of Industry and Commerce in Sichuan province as saying.

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