• Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hu Jintao's only daughter keeps a low profile

Staff Reporter 2012-05-05 16:07 (GMT+8)
Hu Haiqing, the only daughter of Chinese president Hu Jintao. (Internet photo)

Hu Haiqing, the only daughter of Chinese president Hu Jintao. (Internet photo)

Hu Haiqing, the only daughter of the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, graduated from the elite Tsinghua University in 1993 (her father is also an alumnus). Her classmates speak of her as both easygoing and passionate while at university, riding her bicycle home to see her parents on the weekend.

After graduation, Hu worked for Tsinghua Tong Fang, a hi-tech company based in Shanghai, and later stayed in Belgium for short-term study. She did graduate research in the US in 1997, taking the Taiwanese romanization of her name, Hsiao-Hwa Hu — her friends usually called her "Miss 3-H." She kept a low profile and was a dedicated student, and virtually no classmates were aware that she had a powerful father.

Hu later received an MBA from Shanghai's China Europe International Business School in 2004.

Insiders say Hu is a talented woman and the beloved daughter of her parents. Before she went to study at business school, she had been out of a job for two years. Many companies reportedly gave her exceptionally favorable terms, but she rejected them to avoid speculation that she had abused her family connections.

According to media reports from Singapore and Hong Kong, Hu in 1999 tried to acquire a number of hospitals affiliated with Harbin Medical University using 600 million yuan (US$95.2 million) in loans taken out from state-owned banks. Tian Fengshan, then governor of Heilongjiang province in China's northeast, of which Harbin is the capital, had given the case a green light, but poor communication between negotiating parties eventually ended her plan.

Hu is married to Daniel Mao, the former CEO of Chinese internet giant Sina. The two secretly married in Hawaii in 2003. Their marriage caused controversy at the time, being seen by some as setting back her father's efforts to develop an image as a public servant. The Wall Street Journal's Asia edition called their marriage a combination of "power and money."


Hu Haiqing 胡海清

Mao Daolin 茅道臨

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