2019's Weird, Dramatic & Successful Business Owners in China

Source: China Daily

This year has seen a number of remarkable business stories in China, including legendary businessmen embarking on new journeys, celebrities creating online controversies, and famous actor finding business success.

Now, let's take a look at these memorable business stories.

Jack Ma

The Alibaba founder completely retired from the company on his 55th birthday on Sept 10 this year.

Alibaba was founded in 1999, and later went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and on the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Market in 2019 in succession. Its market value reached HK$4.23 trillion by Dec 6 based on the HKEX and $534.67 billion by Dec 5 based on the NYSE.

Ma said he would spend more time on education, philanthropy and environmental protection after leaving office.

Ren Zhengfei

The Huawei founder has frequently appeared in public this year to encourage and boost confidence among the public and his staff.

2019 has proved a tough year for Huawei as the company was targeted by the US government as a national security threat.

During this year, the US government repeatedly asked other countries to give up purchasing equipment and services from Huawei, and banned Huawei in its market.

Moreover, since Dec 1, 2018, Ren's daughter Meng Wanzhou has been held under house arrest in Canada following a request by the US.

Liu Chuanzhi

The Lenovo founder, 75, announced his complete retirement as chairman of Legend Holdings this year.

Liu is well-known for founding Lenovo in 1984. In the past 35 years, the company acquired IBM's PC business in 2004 to gradually become the world's largest PC-maker. It also bought the cellphone brand Motorola from Google in 2014, and went public on the Hong Kong stock market in 2015.

Wu Jing

The Chinese actor played roles in two of the highest-grossing Chinese films in 2019, The Wandering Earth and My People, My Country, with box office returns respectively reaching 4.65 billion yuan ($650 million) and 2.99 billion yuan ($420 million).

Wu is also protagonist, director, and scriptwriter of Wolf Warriors Two, which still reigns as China's highest-grossing film with box office earnings of 5.64 billion yuan.

Dai Wei

The bike-sharing firm Ofo's founder was a rising star among entrepreneurs during 2016 - 2017, with the 26-year-old ranked in the Forbes List of 30 under 30 Asia for Consumer Technology.

However, the firm has been suffering financial problems for the past few months, with tens of millions of users waiting for refunds since the second half of 2018. To compound matters for the company, unpaid bills resulted in several lawsuits in the same period.

Moreover, Dai has been blacklisted by government for not fulfilling payment obligations and barred from excessive spending.

By Nov 29, Dai received 34 spending restrictions from courts.

Luo Yonghao

The founder of smartphone brand Smartisan is well-known for his humorous words in China. Some online opinions noted that, regardless of the quality on his products, Luo's speech at his products conference would certainly be splendid.

Luo formed a smartphone startup in 2012 in an aim to create "the best smartphone in the Eastern Hemisphere".

However, Smartisan's smartphone business was sold to ByteDance in April.

In November, Luo was restricted from luxury spending and had his assets frozen by courts in Danyang, Jiangsu province and Beijing.

Currently, the Danyang court lifted spending restrictions on Luo as he started to pay the creditor.

Jia Yueting

The founder of LeEco and Farady Future filed for bankruptcy and restructuring in the US on Oct 13.

On Dec 6, Jia attended a hearing on the bankruptcy reorganization in the US, and he once again persuaded creditors to pass his bankruptcy, and offered a plan to mass produce an FF 91 electric car to pay off his huge debts.

According to a statement from Faraday Future on Oct 13, Jia has repaid over $3 billion worth of debts, with an unpaid amount of around $3.6 billion.

Jia went to the US in 2017, and has never returned to China to face his domestic debt lawsuits in the recent two years.

Currently, Jia has been listed among dishonest debtors on China's highest level on the credit default blacklist.