Rich and Poor Students: How to Distinguish

At Tsinghua University, there is a great range of wealth among  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.”  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?).

2 Replies to “Rich and Poor Students: How to Distinguish”

  1. Well that makes sense…

    I love Converse All Star, there are imitations anywhere you look around, you can buy fair enough well done converse alike shoes in Zara (one of many brands). I Still buy converse, because Converse All Star represents not only a pair of shoes, but a piece of history, a philosophy of the brand and because they keep the same level of quality in their products and you now they will keep doing so, and selling converse all stars in different formats, colors, etc.

    But you don’t know what goes on with the imitators, will they continue doing the imitation if converse goes out of business, will they keep the quality, etc?

    That is why if I am able to buy the original, I will go for the original… Obviously its different with really expensive brands as I don’t have that much money, so then If I want something really expensive that I like I would go for something similar much cheaper (one has his/her own limitations), but not an exact imitation of the brand because I feel as a creative person than doing so I would damage the original brand somehow.

    I don’t know if for you this makes any sense at all, but is the best I can explain these ideas right now… By the way I am from Spain and I buy my converse all star from UK as they are much cheaper over there, they are even cheaper in US but with the costs of sending them from US to Spain is not so cheap. And Zara is a brand from Spain, so is much cheaper here than US. I’m saying all this because you might find in US that there is such not that big difference in price between Shoes in Zara and Converse or that Zara shoes are much expensive than Converse (I don’t know as I never bought anything from Zara in US meanwhile I was around US at some point).

  2. I don’t agree with them on how to distinguish.
    I think that rich students sometimes have better education, some of them can play music like piano, or can draw. In art school, many students are rich, they use iPhone, LV…
    Nike is not special item in Tsinghua, I am not rich, but I have Nike and Adidas.

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