I read in one of this weekend’s Sunday papers about a 47 million RMB Aston Martin that was written off last week by its Chinese owner, more of which later. It was only recently that T published a post entitled “People In This Town Can’t Drive” which came hot on the heels of the horrific case in Singapore last month where a 31 year old Chinese national, Ma Chi, from Sichuan province ran a red light in his Ferrari, smashed in to a taxi and killed the taxi driver and the passenger as well as himself.
The story caused outrage in Singapore (where rules are in general, strictly followed) with many Singaporeans angry about yet another Chinese foreigner ignoring local rules and subsequently causing the death of a hard working Singaporean father of 3. But perhaps more surprising (for me) was the outrage back home in China, where many resent the increasing number of badly behaved young, spoiled, rich Chinese brats that drive around in million dollar cars flaunting their wealth and often with disregard for traffic regulations.
Amazingly the whole incident was caught on video a dash mounted camera in the car behind the unfortunate taxi and if you’re outside China or have a VPN you can see it here. The driver completely ignores the red light and smashed straight in to the taxi before hitting a motorcyclist.
I did make a passing reference last year to the case of Li Qiming, the son of a senior police official who, after running over and killing a young girl shouted “my father is Li Gang” when security guards tried to detain him. Okay, so he was only driving a Volkswagen, but he was still clearly spoiled and grew up knowing that he could get away with things most people couldn’t simply because he had a well connected father. Except in this case, because of the publicity, even his father couldn’t help him. Something he realised soon after.
And so back to the Aston Martin. Just last week, one of only 77 limited edition Aston Martin One-77s was written off by its Chinese owner as he apparently hit a kerb at high speed. It’s what’s known as a singular vehicle accident which generally means there’s only one person at fault! The cost of the car was around 47 million RMB which is about 7m US dollars (which is just another clear indication of how wealth in communist China is so unevenly distributed). I don’t think it’s inappropriate to say the owner had more money than (driving) sense! The Aston Martin One-77 was so named because they only made 77 of them, 7 of which were allocated to the China market. I guess they’ll have to rename it the One-76 now!
And finally, speaking of singular vehicle accidents, if you needed further proof that there’s an inverse relationship between how rich you are and how well you can handle an automobile, here’s a photo from outside the VIP Club in Beijing of a rather unfortunate situation involving what looks like a 7 series BMW and a perfectly innocent tree.
I understand the driver was not harmed but it’s not clear if the tree survived its injuries!