At Tsinghua University, there is a great range of wealth amongÂ students. Some are from very rich families, some from very poor. I asked a friend how to distinguish rich students and poor ones.
“At the student store, rich students buy things that cost more than 15 yuan [2 dollars],” she said.
I asked another student the same question.
“By their shoes,” he said, “especially sports shoes.”Â Poor students wear Chinese brands you’ve never heard of. Rich students wear American brands.
Like my friend’s answer, this surprised me. At the Beijing Zoo, I paid $10 for Nike shoes that cost $100 in America. Yet when visiting America, Chinese people I know have bought Nike shoes, because genuine Nike cost less in America than in China. So the American shoes of the rich students are probably genuine (> $100) and the Chinese-brand shoes of the poor students cost less than $10 ($5?).