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Millionaire kept family wealth a secret from son for 20 years to teach the value of hard work

He did not tell his son that the business was doing well and is worth millions of dollars until he graduated from college.

Millionaire kept family wealth a secret from son for 20 years to teach the value of hard work
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko | South China Morning Post

Usually, rich parents want their children to enjoy all the luxuries from a young age. However, a wise father decided to do things differently because he wanted his son to work hard and succeed on his terms. The owner of a well-known snack brand in China did not let his son know that he was wealthy until he graduated from university. The story has left many people on the internet stunned, per South China Morning Post.


Zhang Zilong, a 24-year-old, told the mainland media Jiupai News that his multimillionaire father, Zhang Yudong, lied to him about their financial status for the initial 20 years of his life so that he could work towards becoming successful. His father, Zhang Senior, 51, is the founder and president of the Hunan spicy gluten "latiao" brand Mala Prince. The company reportedly makes products worth 600 million yuan (US$83 million) a year.

The brand was started in the same year that Zilong was born. Talking about his childhood, he said that he lived in an "ordinary flat" in Pingjiang County, Hunan Province in central China. He knew about his dad's brand but was told the family was in debt to keep it running.


However, Zilong managed to get into one of the best secondary schools in Hunan, Changsha without his family's help. After he graduated from the university, he dreamt of finding a job that paid about 6000 yuan which is US$800 to pay off the family's debt. However, soon after Zidong's graduation, his father told him that that family was very wealthy and they moved to a newly built villa that cost about US$1.4 million.

After this, the son started to work in the e-commerce department of his father's company where he was treated just like any other employee. He expressed that he and his father do not want him to live like a spoiled "fu er dai" which means second-generation rich in Chinese. In an interview last December with a Douyin influencer @Xiangxiangdazuozhan, he shared that being rich makes him happy. Zilong's dream is to help the company go public and sell to international markets. Moreover, his dad would only be giving the company to him if he justified it with his performance. 

Some people on the internet found the story unrealistic, but others said that they believed it after seeing Zilong's way of living which included his wardrobe of cheap clothes. One person on Douyin wrote, "What a fairytale. The ordinary frog turns into the Mala prince." Another one wrote, "I believe the story. The brand only started advertising itself in recent years. It must be because the prince graduated and there was no need to hide anymore." A third person said, "The way he speaks and looks seems honest and down-to-earth. His family educated him very well."

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