China right now: Polygamy in China.

So the Mr. and I are out to dinner the other night and he begins to tell me about the dinner he had the night before with a colleague, who I had met before. In fact, not only had I met him, but I’d also met his super model wife and four super cute little kids before. Apparently, this exec had told the Mr. that he’s actually a polygamist–not only does he actively practice it, but he’s very involved in advocating for its return in China. He says that after thousands of years of this lifestyle, there’s no way that a couple of decades of altered social norms will have any effect on making men satisfied with just one woman for the rest of their lives. I don’t really see myself as the ‘easily threatened-type’, but this isn’t exactly the kind of guy you really want your husband having beers with!

Stanley with his daughter (left) and (third wife) Ina Chan (right). (I actually really like her dress, although I think it could a bit more tailored.)

The Mr.’s colleague is not a rarity here in China where multiple wives or mistresses are the standard trappings of the wealthy and powerful. Macau Casino magnate Stanely Ho’s four wives and 17 children are a tabloid institution here. Drama seems to constantly follow Ho; his first wife was killed in a car accident in 1973, and his eldest son and wife Melanie were killed in an another car accident. He is estranged from his sister Winnie, who accuses him of owing her money.  Unsolved murders also seem to follow Ho, including those of his assistant who was found with a slit throat in a Hong Kong square.

Stanley with his fourth wife Angela.

According to Forbes magazine, in 2008, Stanley Ho was at 113th place among the world’s richest men with a fortune estimated at 8 billion dollars. In the past few years Ho has moved to transfer more power to his favoured wife Angela Leong, a savvy businesswoman and now a Macau legislator, and his daughter Pansy Ho.

Pansy Ho

Pansy is chief executive of her father’s listed company Shun Tak holdings. Her brother, Lawrence, runs Melco – the Hong Kong-listed company that his father brought for him – that is partner with James Packer’s PBL in Macau.

Macau tycoon Stanley Ho, daughter Pansy Ho (left) and wife Angela Leong (right).

A fun Stanley Ho fact: Ho once bid and won a 1.5 kilo truffle for $330,000 dollars.

And a little background on polygamy in China / Hong Kong, courtesy of Wikiepdia:

  • Polygamy was banned in HK in 1971–not so long ago!
  • Communist Party Leader Mao (who founded the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949) created the “Marriage Law” in 1950 that banned polygamy and forbid child brides.
  • Polygamy in China is considered to be a by-product of the tradition of emphasis on procreation and the continuity of the father’s family name.
  • In Confucianism, the practice of taking concubines was allowed, but a man must have just reasons for doing so. For example, if his wife is not able to give birth to a son, he would be allowed to take a concubine. If a man wants more wives for sexual indulgence, it would be unacceptable. It is illegal in modern China to have more than one spouse for either sex. Polygamy, however, remains seen and tolerated in southwest China among Chinese minorities such as Tibetans etc.
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24 responses to “China right now: Polygamy in China.

  1. Isn’t it interesting that polygamy seems to be on the rise as the population of China is threatened?
    Biology will out.
    Next they’ll be doing this in France…
    As for me, I like the Christian idea — one man, one woman, unbreakable covenant, children that God sends you!

  2. By the way, can Pansy Ho really be her name? Sounds like one of those memes you do to get your stripper moniker…not that I would ever do that.

    • 04/12/2017
      Hello Leila, polygamy being around since man kind creation, remember, Adam & Eav, Eav was Adam the wife number three.
      And also, king Exodus, had more than 20 wives, so yes, you are right, France will be next. But here in the U.S, it is already here, right in the church.

  3. Okay, this is all just insane. Every time I read your blog I feel more and more ignorant about what is going on in the world. I really should visit cnn.com more often. But I think I’ll come to HKH instead. Your worldly updates are way more interesting! Oh, and polygamous friends for the hubs, not exactly something that rests easy on the mind.

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  8. This caught my attention. I have to say this is quite interesting.

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  11. I believe polygamy is a form of love, doesn’t hurt anyone and should be fully legitimate nowadays.

    Divorces are actually more hurtful. If polygamy was allowed and socially acceptable, there would be fewer.

    The rights of the “LGBT community” are also widely advertised and protected by law. So if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, there is a law in almost any country that says you can’t be discriminated.

    How come that if a guy has a wife and a boyfriend, he is fine. But if he has a wife and a girlfriend then his behavior is not socially acceptable?

    Honestly, I think each man should be allowed a maximum of three wives and each woman should be allowed a maximum of three husbands.

  12. Exactly how do you manage to build this kind of wonderful audience associated with commenters to your website?

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  14. I believe that restrictions on polygamy is a major injustice to both men and women. Because a lot of women end up on the street because they can’t find a man to take care of them. And often times they also end up as single mothers with children. And they and their mothers experience very harsh lives. And it’s also unjust to men because they can’t find an extra woman to help with the household chores with cooking and cleaning and taking care of children, and also just having an extra woman for enjoyment. Especially if the first wife is on her period, or in labor. Having an extra woman can also bring relief from poverty. To prohibit polygamy and legalize prostitution is an evil devious double standard, and is a violation of civil rights. Any thing can happen to women who end up on the streets and anything can happen to their kids especially if they are single mothers. The concept of institutionalized monogamy does not come from Christianity but from ancient Rome. The ancient Romans had the devious double standard of monogamy with prostitution.

  15. MOHAMMED ALI MARUTHAYIL

    Why islam allow polygamy. bcz to avoid and protect prostitution.
    The majority of ladies in every country is more than 8% . if any one follow polygamy that ladies get a good life from her husband. This is sunnath of Islam.

  16. Why does anyone really care if a group of three or more consenting adults decide to develop conjugal relationships with eachother? We tolerate all kinds of unusual and sometimes bizarre cultural and religious traditions. Religions often indoctrinate followers for money or servitude, taking advantage of their innocence before they can think for themselves, and this power difference is tolerated. Religious traditions are often about power and control. Catholics are a good example. But when it comes to marriages involving three or more people, suddenly the state decides to make it illegal. For what purpose? Who really cares if three or more consenting adults decide to live in a loving relationship? Isn’t that a choice adults are capable of making without societal involvement? Are adults not capable of loving more then one person? Surely polygamy is more positive then forcing people to be alone for their lives.

  17. It is such evil wickedness. It is crime against natural order. Monogamy with prostitution is the most devious double standard originated by people like Mao zedong. Now a new word can enter the dictionary: zedung virus! After mao zedong the communist bigot who was not even ashamed of his open hypocrisy.

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