This is Part 2 of How One Chinese Woman Got Very Rich In America
Read Part 1, here.
When and how did Big Sister Ping really make it big ?
After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1990s, as more and more Chinese wanted to migrate from China to Western countries, business started booming for Ping. She bought a building directly across the street from a branch of the Bank of China in New York's Chinatown for US$3 million, in cash. She later also bought the building next door.
Big Sister Ping, runs a restaurant called the "Yung Sun restaurant" in that building across the street from a branch of the Bank of China. It is said that she ran her restaurant better than the bank - not as only restaurant but also an underground bank. Yes, Ping's restaurant was also an unlicensed bank - she loaned and transferred money for her "customers". People used her "banking services" because she was more efficient then the Bank of China across the road - she could transfer money overnight just by making phone calls to China. The Bank of China was slow, it took 3 weeks to transfer money and gave a bad foreign exchange rate and delivered the cash in Yuan, instead of dollars. Her underground bank transferred the money in hours, charged less and paid in US dollars.
Because things became so bad for the Bank of China and it became threatened by Ping's underground bank - it began offering colour TVs and prizes just to lure customers away from the underground bank. The Bank of China also started a large propaganda campaign against her underground bank by taking out ads in local Chinese newspapers warning people they could get in trouble by using the underground banks. Still. nobody gave a fcuk, and didn't go to the Bank Of China because the service is fcuked up.
In the late '80s and early 90s, Big Sister Ping's reputation and stature as a businesswomen had grown so high that she was the best-known and most respected figure in New York's Chinatown.
After the Tiananmen Square Massacre, she had organised a global smuggling network by forming alliances with many small Snakehead operations around the world. She also made important contacts useful people i.e. by buying off corrupt immigration, tourist and other officials to obtain fake or purchased passports, Visas and other documents.
Ping charged a small down payment, and potential illegal immigrants had to borrow the rest of the money upon arrival to the US from families already in the US. Those who did not have families, could borrow money from loan sharks and were found jobs at restaurants, massage parlors, laundries, garment factories etc and allowed to pay off the debt in installments, with interest, fo course. However, unlike other Snakeheads, who beat up migrants who could not afford to pay the fees, Big Sister Ping did not do that. People said that she is benevolent and kind - she sent money to the families of those who died on their way to the US or waived the fees for a son to go over instead.
The Chinese don't see human smuggling as a crime. They see it as a necessary service. And for some Big Sister Ping was seen like a goddess because the consider her a benevolent and kind Snakehead - they consider her as a kind of Robin Hood.
Others, however, say she is a cruel woman, who used the notorious Fuk Ching gang to prey on the helpless illegal migrants - she would not hesitate to kill, some say.
Big Sister Ping charges from US$20,000 to US$35,000 for an illegal immigrant. Reports say that many illegal immigrants were held hostage by members of the Fuk Ching gang who tortured them if they can't pay the fees.
It is rumoured that at one time, she transferred $40 million US in illegal earnings back to China. She is seen by Asian standards as an outstanding businesswomen turning a restaurant to a underground bank and a human smuggling operation into a vast global empire with links to organised crime - especially with the notorious Fuk Ching triad.
Ping legally holds three passports - a Hong Kong, a U.S. and a Belize passport.
Chinese from China emigrate to the U.S. illegally for more money. That is the main, if not only reason. Report shows that an illegal Chinese can earn about US$1,500 a month working at a restaurant in America. An illegal immigrant who sends half that money home to China can make his or her family move into the upper class in China, where the average income, is between $250 and $300 a year.
Read a related post - Smuggling of Chinese workers into the United States
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