Tall poppy syndrome in China: Sun Mingming is not a blockhead


Australians often say that their society suffers from 'tall poppy syndrome'; in other words, success is treated as something that should be cut down to size rather than admired or emulated.

'Sun Mingming is not a blockhead', an article in Beijing's Mirror newspaper (法制晚报) on June 1, criticizes China for the same mentality, using the example of a particularly tall poppy: the giant basketball player Sun Mingming, currently in the U.S. hoping to make it into the NBA.

Roughly translated excerpts from the Mirror:

When he was 12 years old, some seniors said that Yao Ming was 'totally unfit for playing basketball'; now he is the most successful giant of the NBA. Now the guy that is called a 'blockhead' in China is being pursued in America by the NBA.

The same kid, a different conclusion. Here you can clearly see the differences between the way China and America look at talent: Americans always enthusiastically develop the strong skills of young players, while in China we first look for their weaknesses...

...If it wasn't for lengthy reports in the American media, we in China wouldn't know anything about [Sun Mingming].

- The Mirror: Sun Mingming is not a blockhead (in Chinese)
- The image is taken from this article on (in Chinese)

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