China Poll: Would You Mooch to Get What You Want?

By Zhang Chao
Published: 2010-12-10

Chinese society is changing, and we are witnessing the spread of entrepreneurialism and an independent spirit for business. But a more troubling phenomenon has emerged in the increasing prevalence of hangers-on (傍傍族 bàng bàng zú) - individuals willing or hoping to leech off of the wealth and power of China's more successful.

Last week, the Social Investigation Center of The China Youth Daily carried out a survey through Minyi Net and Netease in order to obtain a snapshot of how prevalent this culture of hangers-on really is.

Of the 2,870 participants who took part:
56.9 percent admit to knowing hangers-on
11.3 percent say they know a very small number of hangers-on
Only 1.6 percent claim they do not know any

43.3 percent of the participants admit they would be fine mooching off of someone else to get what they want.

When asked to rank how badly they wanted a wealthy person to hang on to, this is how they responded: 

Xia Wei, a graduate student in Beijing gave the following explanation for why she mooches:
"A few years ago, I was naive enough to think that I can make my dreams come true by working hard. But society taught me better. If you come from a good family, you can rely on them. People who are on their own can only rely on a good partner. Besides, everyone around me relies on someone, if I didn't I'd be at a disadvantage."

When asked why they thought this culture of relying so much on others is so prevalent: 
67.7 percent think it is because "it's too hard to depend only on yourself"
63.6 percent blame it on "speculation fever"
46.3 percent say it's just a trend; people do it because "everyone else does it"
35.1 percent believe it is because those involved "lack of self-confidence"

So what are the most popular targets for these moochers?
79.1 percent cling to people with connections
70.2 percent cling to powerful people
67.5 percent choose to marry rich spouse
46.0 percent rely on experienced investors.


This article was edited by Ruoji Tang


Links and Sources
China Youth Online:
傍款傍权 56.9%受访者确认身边遍存“傍傍族”