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ugh criticized by much of the West, and the US in particular－could bring dramatic
improvements in physical and digital connectivity to Central Asia and parts of Africa.
Further advances in critical infrastructure will create important growth opportunities for developing countries via e-commerce, mobile paym
ents, and related financial services. The experience of China suggests that these digital platforms, and the ecosy
stems that develop around them, are powerful engines for incremental, highly inclusive growth.
China, of course, is a very large, homogenous market. If smaller, lower-income developing countries are to bene
fit from equally rapid inclusive growth, the digital platforms will have to be regional and international in scope.
platform covering 14 African countries, recently went public on the New York Stock Exchange, am
Paying millions of dollars to secure their children a spot at an elite college may
sound absurd to many parents, but some are willing to do this.
Nicole Shen, the Chinese mother of a high school student in Palo Alto, California, said she would be wi
lling to pay a pretty penny upfront to get her daughter admitted to a top-tier university if she could afford it. “As long as eve
rything is legal,” she added.Zhao, 52, was introduced to William “Rick” Singer, a college consultant in California and the mast
ermind behind the scandal, by Michael Wu, who worked as an adviser at the Los Angeles area branch of in
vestment bank Morgan Stanley, according to the Los Angeles Times. Wu has since been fired.
Two wealthy Chinese families have recently been in the spotlight and t
he subject of widespread discussion after media reports showed they paid huge am
ounts in a high-profile college admissions scandal. The sums they paid dwarfed the typical amount footed by US parents.
The highest-known payoff to date is the $6.5 million by billionaire Zhao Tao, president and co-founder of Shandong Buchang Pharmaceuticals Co.
“Products that just scratch the surface, like simple tours of famous universities, have fallen out of favor with the market,” Zhang says.
Language training, NASA’s space camp, computer programming, homes
tays, wild animal care and desert and museum experiences are among the most popular options.
“Certain volunteering and public-welfare routes have seen a particularly fast increase in bookings,” Zhang says.
During the recent winter vacation in February, study-t
rip bookings surged by 80 percent compared with the same period of last year.
Domestic trips cost roughly 4,500 yuan ($663) per capita on ave
rage, while expenditures hit 21,000 yuan for outbound experiences, the agency reports.
Parents from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong province’s Guangz
hou and Shenzhen are the most willing to spend, according to Ctrip’s data.