China’s elite post photos lying down surrounded by luxury goods for ‘flaunt your wealth’ challenge

Photos of people lying face down on the ground surrounded by luxury goods have gone viral on Chinese social media.

More than a million posts of people taking part in the "flaunt your wealth" challenge have appeared on the platform Weibo in the last two weeks. 

One video, which has been viewed more than 50,000 times, shows a woman lying beside her car on a pedestrian crossing in Taizhou, Zhejiang province surrounded by scattered high heels, make up and a handbag. She was later issued with a fine for a parking violation by authorities.  

Commentators say an army of young Chinese  ‘influencers’ have seized on the phenomenon as a way to show off their increasing wealth. 

Workers and students have responded by posting their own satirical takes on the the lavish displays of wealth showing themselves posing face down surrounded by their tools and books. 

With increased prosperity, China has also seen a rise in income inequality. The country is home to more billionaires than the United States, while two million of its population still live on less than US$2 a day. 

Communist officials have previously identified income inequality as a chief cause of social unrest in the country and a potential threat to the regime’s survival. 

The trend, which carries the social media hashtag #fallingstars, began in July with a Russian DJ posting a photo of himself online pretending to fall from a private jet on to a runaway.