China has lost its soul in the chase for wealth, says magnate's daughter Kelly Zong, heir to Â£6.9bn beverage firm fortune, says children of tycoons lack character and have been over-indulged Kelly Zong, daughter of Zong Qinghou, the billionaire owner of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, says children from very wealthy backgrounds lack character. Though her family have ridden China's economic tide to immense wealth, Zong, 31, said development had come at a cost. "I think we lost our soul. In the US, they have beliefs: Christianity, Catholicism. China has Buddhism but I don't think people really believe it in their heart." Sitting at a vast conference table in Wahaha's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zong said a country should be judged not just by its economy, but by broader social standards, such as the cleanliness of its streets and the friendliness of its people. "I think the government is aware of this issue; that's why we see the China Dream [the slogan promoted by president Xi Jinping]. People realised what's missing. But I think it will take maybe two generations at least to recover," she added. Zong Qinghou, founder of the beverage giant, is known for his colloquial speech â€“ once saying if his daughter had problems he would "go and wipe her butt". She prefers maxims from eight years of study in the US â€“ "never be good, always be better" â€“ but is equally capable of bluntness. "I've always been direct. That's why they say I don't fit in with society here," said Zong. "Living abroad gave me a lot of independent thinking. I don't like to follow the rules," she added. The conspicuous wealth and arrogance of some of the children of China's rich has led to widespread resentment, with many attacking them as spoilt, selfish, crass and badly behaved. A recent commentary carried by state news agency Xinhua said their "offences against social order" had demoralised the country's working spirit. "I'm lucky. I didn't stay with my parents when I was young. I learned my own character," Zong said. A series of "aunties" raised her because her parents were always travelling. "My parents' generation always want to provide a business for their children. It's very understandable but they forget to teach the children to have character." Does she mean that the second generation is spoilt? "I think so." She also worries that society is becoming less safe in general; her father was recently injured when a migrant worker knifed him near his home, reportedly after his request for a job was refused. Zong acknowledged some feel left behind by China's boom: "I understand where the anger is coming from, but they misunderstand that we also need to work to earn our money. It's not like the money will flow from the skies," she said. "I think everyone is equal here. Even though I have better resources than other people, I still need to work hard to fulfil my dream." Will that include taking over Wahaha one day? At present she handles aspects of production line supplies and imports and exports. "I think I'm running my own business. We are together with Wahaha but I have my own philosophy and the company I want to build in my own heart." Two days after Zong's interview with the Guardian, her father told Chinese reporters: "Because she was influenced by foreign culture when young, she's not clear about the present situation of Chinese companies, nor about what's going on overseas. I let her do what she likes to do... If my daughter takes over, she will need more tempering." The entrepreneur works even at New Year, his daughter said, while she seeks work-life balance. She believes in delegating and thinks companies should focus more on issues such as sustainability. Women think more about the long term and are more willing to listen and learn, she argued, while men do not want to admit when they're wrong.But business is harder for women â€“ especially in China. "Even if we have such a big empire [as Wahaha] behind us, we're still not equal, When I'm attending meetings they don't listen to [my] points," she said. Last year Zong made headlines by revealing she had never had a boyfriend. "It's not a problem because I'm the daughter of a wealthy man in China; it's a problem because, for me, it's difficult to trust someone," she explained. "The only one I can rely on is myself. " China has lost its soul in the chase for wealth, says magnate's daughter | World news | theguardian.com **************************************************************************************** What does she mean by children from very wealthy backgrounds lack character? Is she suggesting Xi and other Princelings who made hay while the sun shone on the Communist bigwigs, who made huge fortunes when Deng opened up the economy and they alone could access it,. are characterless clots?