A fight over a parking space between the owners of a Bentley and a Rolls-Royce that ended in a violent and chaotic brawl has renewed debate in China over the super-rich and how they acquired their wealth.
In the video, filmed in an apartment building car park in Shenzhen, southern China, a woman driving a Bentley has parked in front of a Rolls-Royce sitting in what she claims is her parking spot.
She shouts to a gathering crowd that her parking space has been stolen by the owner of the Rolls-Royce for the last month and that she would use her Bentley to block the other car from leaving.
Do you have questions about the biggest topics and trends from around the world? Get the answers with SCMP Knowledge, our new platform of curated content with explainers, FAQs, analyses and infographics brought to you by our award-winning team.
She then shouted, to the astonishment of the crowd, “I have 50 Bentleys at home.”
The argument over the car space quickly escalated after the woman refused to move her car, and ended in a violent brawl with the other car owner.
Both were seen rolling around on the ground, screeching while slapping and hitting each other as onlookers and security guards tried to restrain the pair.
However, within moments of being wrestled apart, the pair were brawling again and resumed screaming at each other as the woman violently lashed out at the man. A group of onlookers again intervened and managed to separate the pair.
The woman, dubbed “Bentley Sister” online, said in the video that she had a contract giving her exclusive ownership of the parking space.
“How can he take my parking space for over a month without moving!”, the woman yells to the crowd at one point in the video. “I must defend my rights!”
However, after the video spread online the woman, surnamed Ouyang, told China News Service Business in an interview that the online video being circulated had been “maliciously edited” and was missing important context.
“The person who had been occupying the parking space for a long time mentioned ‘50 Bentleys,’ and I just followed him and repeated it emotionally,” Ouyang explained.
She claimed that she and other Bentley owners are members of a car club with hundreds of Bentleys and that she could get 50 Bentleys from the club, not that she owned that many herself.
A resident, surnamed Liang, who lives in the same compound as the woman said the dispute stemmed from unclear ownership of parking spaces in the building.
“The dispute over the Bentley owner’s parking space being taken has now been resolved, but the ownership of parking spaces, in general, remains a problem,” Liang said.
Parking spaces reserved for public use had been improperly assigned to some apartment owners by the company which manages the complex, reported The Paper.
After the video was posted online, people speculated that “Bentley Sister” was the girlfriend of the secretary of a state-owned enterprise in Shenzhen.
The incident has gone viral in mainland China and has been called the Chinese version of the reality television show Bling Empire, an American series described as the real-life Crazy Rich Asians, and raised questions about how someone could amass enough wealth to own 50 luxury cars.
In response to concerns raised about the wealth claimed by the woman driving the Bentley in the video, the Shenzhen State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission announced yesterday: “The commission is in the process of investigating and verifying the issue.”
The commission issued another statement today confirming that the secretary of a state-owned enterprise in Shenzhen was involved. It said the man divorced in 2017 and has not remarried since.
Furthermore, the statement said the commission hasn’t found any economic ties or business transactions between the state-owned enterprise and the companies under the woman. The investigation will continue.
Chinese public opinion was divided over the parking space dispute and wealth revelations, with some alleging that there could be corruption involved for the woman to possess so much wealth.
“Such a rude woman with the Bentley, shame on her!”, one person commented online. “Look into her family background to see where her wealth came from, how she can be so arrogant!”
However, others said that the woman should not be attacked for defending her legal rights or judged differently for being wealthy.
“I sympathise with the Bentley Sister!”, said one commenter. “Clearly, the person who hijacked the parking space is to blame!”
More from South China Morning Post: