Here are three recent interesting money and future related China stories. I couldn’t decide on one sort of feeling after reading through them… partially depressed, partially resigned and partially shocked. Buying beauty, selling a kidney and trading years of life… and for what? A hopeful future or momentary satisfaction, or maybe there was no choice available in the first place…

For some of the 6.8 million students who graduated this year, plastic surgery offers a way to boost self-confidence and increase the likelihood of getting a job. The doctor interviewed in this Bloomberg video says to some, getting nose jobs or double-eyelid surgery is like purchasing a new handbag. Apparently, having needles stuck in various facial muscles and injected just isn’t treated with the same attitude anymore. Though not as prevalent as in Korea, the absolute numbers for surgeries in China still rank among the top. These surgeries can’t be cheap but I guess for recent graduates, these expenses can be claimed as an investment.

Some other students though… they just make terrible decisions. The SCMP reported last week that another high school student sold a kidney. He received only a tenth of the profits, or 22,000 RMB, while the patient who received the kidney paid 216,000 RMB. The rest of that money was presumably distributed between organ dealers and doctors who performed the transplant. Five men are on trial now. The saddest part about this though? The kid started searching for organ dealers online after his parents broke his computer in a failed attempted to curb an addiction to video games. Eventually he bought an ipad and iphone because he didn’t know what else to do with the money. Bet he’ll be regretting those purchases when the next version shows up.

To earn lots of money, what he should have done instead is start practicing an Olympic event between the age of 4 and 15 then win a gold medal for it. Just like Chen Anqing for example. For winning China’s first gold in London in women’s 10-meter air-rifle, she has been awarded over 1.5 million RMB in the form of cash, real estate and a car by her hometown of Chenzhou and 800,000 RMB from Zhuhai, where she trained. Even as I congratulate her, I wonder whether she thinks it was worth all the struggle, including leaving home as a teenager and not seeing her grandfather for two years for fear of distraction.

Would you agree to a deal without knowing the exact terms?


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