What Is the 'Flaunt Your Wealth Challenge?' Pictures of People Falling Out of Cars With Luxury Goods Goes Viral

A new viral craze is sweeping through China and further afield, as social media users share images of their most expensive possessions as part of the "flaunt your wealth challenge."

More than 1 million posts of challenges have been made on the Chinese social media platform Weibo over the past two weeks. The craze began in July after a Russian DJ posted a photo of himself to Instagram pretending to have fallen down the steps of a private jet.

Participants pose as if they have just fallen out of their luxury cars, face down surrounded by expensive possessions spread around them on the ground. The sensation has since gone global and spread to Instagram, generating more than 100,000 posts with accompanying hashtags including #fallingstars and #fallingstars2018.

The Telegraph noted that young social media influencers in China—and abroad—have taken to the challenge enthusiastically, using the new craze to show off their riches.

The challenge is emblematic of the rising wealth of China's middle class, which has enjoyed decades of stable economic growth as China has expanded to become a global economic power. But this growth has also produced stark wealth inequality in the world's most populous country. According to the World Bank, almost 500 million people—around 40 percent of the population—still survive on less than $5.50 a day.

But for China's lucky few, things have never been so good. The country is now home to the second highest number of billionaires in the world according to Forbes at 476—behind only the U.S. at 585.

Some social media users have also been using the attention to promote their businesses. Users have uploaded pictures surrounded by clothes from their fashion labels, fitness gear and make-up products.


#fallingstars @cbuboxing _No.1 Sports Center, Shanghai

A post shared by Yu Jianming (@yujimmy515) on

China's less wealthy citizens have put their own satirical spin on the fad, uploading images showing them surrounded by mundane items like snacks or stacks of documents. Workers and students have also added their take, posing face down among power tools, books and food items.


@cloud9my #kachaknwin #cloud9andnips #fallingstarschallenge #fallingstars2018

A post shared by hengming (@tinghengming) on

Even the ruling Communist Party has jumped onboard, praising workers' snaps for showing pride in their jobs, CNN reported.

Alongside an image of firefighters taking part in the challenge, China's Ministry of Emergency Management posted a comment reading, "This is the real positive energy of the people… It is too painful to see that the pursuit of money and power affects young people now. Only when we support the hardworking young people will our motherland have hope."

People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, compiled a selection of images for Weibo it said showed "that the young generation dare to express themselves... they flaunt their love and commitment for work. If everyone is hardworking at the work at hand, it will be the biggest wealth for the society."

But not everyone is playing within the rules. One woman was handed a small fine for parking illegally after posing hanging out of her car surrounded by luxury items on a pedestrian crossing. Her post attracted more than 1,000 comments, some of which criticized the woman for her dangerous behavior.