China’s leading entrepreneurs of 2012

Qiyejia Ribao 31 Dec 12

The entrepreneur that makes it big in China makes it very big, reaching rock star levels. The Entrepreneurs’ Daily (企业家日报) today is one of a handful of Chinese papers that published a retrospective of the year of 2012. As befits its business focus, the front page today displays the newspaper’s selection of China’s leading entrepreneurs of 2012, which it couches under the headline of “Relaxed and confident, measuring their forward march” (从容与自信 丈量他们前行步伐). Included in the newspaper’s special 2012 business retrospective are in all four sections, which the front page summarizes as follows:

  1. “While the global stock market rose in 2012, China’s A-share market continued the decline from 2011 and found itself in 2012 once again at the bottom of the global stock market”
  2. “Along with improving product quality and greater competitiveness, Chinese businesses in 2012 started to deploy a concerted global strategy on natural resources as part of ‘going global’
  3. “In 2012 China’s entrepreneurs continued to exhibit the entrepreneurial spirit, displaying anew the Chinese model of entrepreneurship on the global stage”
  4. “Innovative marketing brought new value in 2012; ten unique marketing plans brought about new branding wealth”

On the page expounding on point 3 above we find brief descriptions of the near super-human business achievements of 12 men (yes they are all men) in 2012, ranging from vast increases in company and personal profit, being awarded this or that prize, inclusion on rich lists, and all the other trappings that accrue to China’s leading businessmen in 2012.

Briefly, the content of the other three pages can be summarized as follows:

  • In the first page of the special section looking back at the performance of China’s stock market in 2012, the newspaper lays out in depth the performance of global stock markets and the less-than-admirable performance of the stock market in China. Included are statistical tables of the best performing global as well as Chinese stocks of 2012
  • The second page discusses the state of competitiveness of Chinese businesses in 2012, including a range of statistics on mergers & acquisitions by Chinese firms during the year, revenue and earnings, and notable foreign deals (among others)
  • The fourth and final page discusses the results of innovative marketing techniques in China in 2012. In particular the newspaper highlights ten marketing campaigns that were launched in China in 2012, including Starbucks’s two-dimensional code campaign on Weixin (Wechat), Nike’s “Social DNA” campaign, and Volvo’s “Jeremy Lin Chinese line” campaign

Moving then to the gods of Chinese business, the dozen men included in this best-of-the-best of China’s entrepreneurs made the list because (as Entrepreneurs’ Daily puts it)

they displayed great ambition and great skill in strategy and tactics (雄韬伟略); they thoroughly embodied the entrepreneurial spirit (such as dedication, innovation, and sincerity); they are global men-of-the-moment; they are often found on the Forbes or Hurun rich lists….”

And on it goes, endless adulation for these men whose business acumen saw them rise to the top and achieve the ultimate dream in China. They are rock stars, on the pages of Entrepreneurs’ Daily anyway. So who are these big men? Here’s a brief recap along with the main reason why they’re included on the list (note the brief summaries below are not exhaustive of each man’s countless awards and deals and other such amazing deeds):

  • Ma Huateng (马化腾): Founder of Tencent (腾讯) , provider of Internet and mobile services and online advertising. Tencent’s mobile social app Weixin (Wechat) this year exceeded a rollicking 200 million registered users
  • Jack Ma (马云): Founder of Alibaba, B2B online marketplace. Alibaba had a huge 2012, with its Taobao online mall, for example, recording a record sales total for one day of 19.1 billion yuan
  • Robin Li (李彦宏): Chairman of Baidu, China-based Internet search engine. Li was responsible for Baidu’s shift in focus to cloud computing in 2012
  • Yu Liang (郁亮): CEO of Wanke Property Development. Under Yu’s leadership Wanke in 2012 completed foreign acquisitions and entered a number of western markets
  • Yang Yuanqing (杨元庆): CEO of Lenovo, Chinese electronics firm. In 2012 Lenovo became the world’s leading seller of PCs
  • Ren Zhengfei (任正非): Chairman of Huawei, networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. While Huawei is going from strength to strength, Ren entered the Forbes Rich List in 2011, and was named as China’s most influential global business leader by Fortune magazine in 2012
  • Liang Wengen (梁稳根): Founder of construction machinery firm Sany. Also a high ranking feature of lists of the rich and influential, Liang’s Sany made a high-profile acquisition of a German firm in 2012
  • Fu Chengyu (傅成玉): CEO of Chinese oil and gas giant China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). In November Fu was chosen by his peers as Global Oil Industry Leader of 2012, and under Fu’s leadership CNOONC has ventured into shale gas development in 2012
  • Wang Jianlin (王健林): CEO of Wanda Real Estate. In 2012 Wanda completed the acquisition of a cinema chain in the United States, making Wanda the world’s largest operator of cinemas
  • Lei Jun (雷军): CEO of Jinshan Software Company (金山软件公司). Lei won a number of awards this year for his innovations in mobile Internet systems, including CCTV’s prize for Economic Cutting-edge Personality of 2012
  • Zhang Ruimin (张瑞敏): CEO of consumer electronics and home appliances company Haier. Zhang has a rich pedigree of attending business schools in the west, and in 2012 Haier made an important acquisition in New Zealand
  • Liu Yonghao (刘永好): Founder of New Hope, China’s largest producer of fodder and largest livestock company. In 2012 Liu was prominent in government circles for developing food plans for farmers and urban centers


Links and sources
Entrepreneurs’ Daily (企业家日报): 2012 A股全球再垫底资金布局西部板块2012 中国企业全球竞争力制造中国企业精神的创业家2012创新营销大盘点

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