Chinese bride marries with €120 million dowry
A Chinese kitchen and bathroom tile magnate has launched his daughter into marriage with a dowry of more than one billion yuan (€120m).
According to the Straits News newspaper Ruibiao's daughter, who has not been named, decided to marry her childhood sweetheart, a local government official called Xu from Jinjiang, an entrepreneurial city on China's south coast.
An eight-day public wedding banquet began on December 28.
But the generosity of the father did not end there.
A bank account has been opened with an initial deposit of 20 million yuan and five million shares in Mr Wu's company, Wanli, with an estimated value of 100 million yuan, were transferred.
Added to the gifts are a list of properties, including several villas and a retail store in Quanzhou city. Mr Wu also gave 15 million yuan to two local charities, for good luck.
In recent years, the billionaire entrepreneurs of Jinjiang have competed for bragging rights over who can amass the largest dowry.
According to one Hong Kong newspaper, marrying a girl from Jinjiang is "better than robbing a bank".
The full extent of the 54-year-old Wu Ruibiao's wealth is unknown. According to company records, he only drew a salary of £12,000 last year. His daughter is already on the board of his company, Wanli, and recently masterminded a stock market listing in Korea.
Mr Wu's wife also gave her blessing to the union. "He [the groom] is an outstanding young man. And 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," she said. "And it was fate too," she added.
Miss Wu and Mr Xu were classmates from kindergarten until they left high school at 18. Miss Wu then studied first at Xiamen university and then in the UK.
A spokesman for Wanli confirmed the size of Mr Wu's dowry to the South China Morning Post, but said the banquet was unlikely to last for eight days and that Mr Wu was keen to "keep things simple".
In November 2011, another Jinjiang billionaire, Xu Liajie, bestowed a dowry of 200 million yuan on his daughter. While Wu Jingbiao, a Jinjiang textile tycoon, bestowed a similar sum when his daughter married last month.
On the Chinese internet, the news of Mr Wu's generosity inspired a mixture of astonishment, jealousy and congratulation.
Zhao Wei, an entrepreneur who manages a hotel chain and has 12,000 followers on Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter, said: "You think this businessman is stupid? This is purely self-publicity. He will not spend a cent in advertising and gets all this media coverage".
Malcolm Moore Telegraph.co.uk