We came across an article about a guy here in Shanghai who recently got into some trouble on the internet because of a photo where he appears to be burning money with a cigarette. Some people found the image objectionable, with some even saying that the image, which was posted on the man’s blog (he has a company selling luxury items and the blog is used to communicate with customers and clients), showed a contempt for the poor.
This seems to be a running theme in the Chinese internet/blogosphere — recently, for example, people have been pissed off about Accord Girl, a video blogger who openly ridicules poor people (people who make less than 3,000 RMB a month).
One might also point out that this image could be construed as an homage to Chow Yun-fat in A Better Tomorrow (英雄本色), where he lights a wad of counterfeit bills on fire in the beginning of the film.
More relevant to the matter is the fact the man who posted the image claims that the flame was done in Photoshop, and that he’d never burn actual money. He also says that he has an ailing mother battling cancer, which is why he’s been so keen on making as much money as he can.