Chen Guangbiao, a recycling magnate and one of China’s 400 richest people—and a high-profile philanthropist; he’s known for what he calls flashy philanthropy—recently announced his intention to buy the New York Times. But when Guangbiao, whose fortune was estimated at $740 million in 2012, was rebuffed by the Internet, he changed his tack: he checked to see if the Wall Street Journal was for sale.
And why shouldn’t he own an American newspaper? After all, he boasts what is apparently the most important skill required to do so: he’s good at working with Jews.
Chen had said earlier that he was “serious” about purchasing the Times, so he could work on “rebuilding its credibility and influence” by reforming its award-winning coverage of China.
Chen said he was aware that many American papers were Jewish-owned. He said he was up for the job since he had “equally competent IQ and EQ” compared with Jews.
“I am very good at working with Jews,” he said.
It’s sort of like that Chinese firm who was looking to hire a Jew a few years back, but opposite. Or something.
Guangbiao also got attention this week when his English-language business card, which says things like ‘Most Charismatic Philanthropist’ and ‘Most Well-Known and Beloved Chinese Role Model,’ was published online. Want one for yourself? Try Slate’s superlative-laden business card generator. I’ve already added ‘good at working with Jews’ to mine.
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Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.