A Chinese man who sent a helicopter to his daughter’s school in Beijing has defended himself against accusations he was flaunting his wealth by saying it was purely for educational purposes.
Footage of the helicopter flying above the school and landing in the grounds were widely circulated on social media.
But the man, identified only by his surname Chen, told Thepaper.cn that he runs a company offering helicopter tours of the Chinese capital and the school had invited him to make the flight as part of the school’s science and technology fair.
Chen’s daughter is in the first grade at Fengdan primary school in Beijing’s Haidian district, home to some of the country’s best-known universities.
He said he thought explaining how helicopters flew might help the children better understand the theory of gravity.
“I hope to give more children an opportunity to see helicopters up close, and spark an interest in aviation in some of them,” Chen told local media.
Other parents offered their support. “As a parent of kids studying in Fengdan primary school, I’m actually very happy.
“Children can have an opportunity to take a close look at helicopters and get some knowledge about the theories behind them. That’s really great,” a woman named Xing said.
But some social media users complained that he was flaunting his wealth. “Poverty limited my imagination … The wealth gap is getting larger and larger,” said one Weibo user.
Other incidents where parents have been deemed to be showing off their wealth have prompted criticism in the past.
Last October, a father in eastern China dropped his son off at school in a Ferrari faced a social boycott after he refused to use a less expensive car.