Man pays $200m for daughter's dowry

Last updated 17:18 02/01/2013
Wu Ruibiao
THE PRICE OF LOVE: Wu Ruibiao has paid nearly $200m for his daughter's dowry.

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Gold and luxury cars were included in a wedding dowry totalling almost $200 million for a new bride in China.

Chinese tile tycoon Wu Ruibiao, 54, included four boxes of gold, a Porsche and a Mercedes-Benz draped with red ribbons for her wedding dowry of more than a billion yuan (NZD $193.87 million)

His daughter, who was not named, married her child sweetheart from Jinjiang in an eight-day public wedding banquet which began last Friday, according to the Straits News newspaper.

In what's been described by some as a publicity stunt, Wu also opened her an account containing 20 million yuan ($3.9 million), gave her shares in his company and handed over numerous properties, including several villas and a shop in Quanzhou city.

The daughter and her new husband, government employee Mr Xu, were classmates from nursery school until they left high school at 18.

The love of a woman is becoming a lucrative business in the entrepreneurial region of Jinjiang as billionaires outdo each other for the largest dowry.

According to one Hong Kong newspaper, marrying a girl from Jinjiang is "better than robbing a bank".

Wu's wife said the groom was an outstanding young man.

"He gets his bread from the government. As parents, we certainly want our child's life to be more stable than our lives as entrepreneurs. And it was fate, too."

Wu's daughter has also proved herself an asset for her father's business.

She is on the board of his bathroom and kitchen tile company Wanli and was recently behind a stock market listing in Korea.

A spokesman for Wanli confirmed the size of Mr Wu's dowry to the South China Morning Post, but disputed the banquet would last for eight days as the businessman wanted to keep things simple.

In 2011, another Jinjiang billionaire, Xu Liajie, bestowed a dowry of 200 million yuan on his daughter.

Last month, textile tycoon Wu Jingbiao granted his daughter with a similar sum when she married.

Though not everyone is convinced these gestures are a generous token from a loving father. 

Zhao Wei, an entrepreneur who manages a hotel chain, expressed his feelings to 12,000 followers on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"You think this businessman is stupid? This is purely self-publicity. He will not spend a cent on advertising and gets all this media coverage."

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