The life of China’s richest tycoon, who once sold drinks on the sidewalk

Zong Qinghou – founder of the famous Chinese beverage group Wahaha has just passed away at the age of 79. He passed away at 10:30 a.m. local time on February 25. This information was posted on the group’s social networking site.

He was the richest person in China in 2 years 2010 and 2012. As of last year, he  ranked 31st on the list of China’s wealthiest people published by the Hurun Research Institute.

Zong Qinghou was born in a gia poor family in Jiangsu in 1945. He spent 15 years living and working in the countryside.

In 1978 Zong returned to Hangzhou to work as a salesman. He and two retired teachers took over a small grocery store in a local school. At that time he sold drinks and ice cream to students. These are considered the first steps that brought him to the business that is the premise for having a strong beverage group today.

In 1989, Zong Qinghou founded and headed the nutritional food factory. Wahaha Hangzhou. Two years later, he brought the company to a corporation after buying a local canned food factory that was making a loss.

In 1995, when he saw the potential and needs of customers with bottled water he launched Wahaha pure water product. Over time, this type of water has been chosen and used by customers in a country of billions of people.

In September 2013, he once attracted press attention after an incident of being attacked by a knife-wielding subject. The source of the incident is said to be that this person wanted revenge for not being accepted to work at the corporation.

In 2021, the only daughter of tycoon Zong Qinghou took over the business. Ms. Zong Fuli was appointed vice president and general director, paving the way for inheriting the property that her father spent many years building.

She was well-trained abroad. understanding of the Western food and beverage market Zong Fuli is focusing on rejuvenating the brand that is familiar to Chinese customers improving sales channels to attract young people.

However, Wahaha Group still faces difficulties due to competition from new sales models. Wahaha’s rival Nongfu Spring, run by tycoon Zhong Shanhan, has won a large market share in the field of selling bottled water thanks to its creative advertising strategy.

Mr. Zong Qinghou is famous for daring to take risks dangerous and hardworking. He was one of the first self-made entrepreneurs in China’s reform and opening up. On his bookshelf there are many maps of provinces and cities in China. Zong personally went to markets everywhere to learn about the market.

In the early years of starting his business, Zong traveled more than 200 days a year to find markets. He traveled alone, carried his own luggage, flew economy class and took the train in normal class. Even though he was on the Forbes billionaires list three times, Zong Qinghiu still lives a simple and frugal life.

Living simply and frugally

In a documentary about him, when asked why he chose cheap ticket classes and not business class Tycoon Zong Qinghou said that many people think he is rich and will sit in an expensive cabin, but he himself thinks he should not do so.

His annual living expenses do not exceed 50,000 yuan (more than 170 million VND) – a modest number compared to Zong’s assets. He is even very frugal and rarely appears in restaurants. Every day he eats 3 meals at the corporation’s canteen like so many other people.

Zong Qinghou is still seen appearing close to his staff. He chose to wear very simple canvas shoes, unlike those who like to wear branded goods. Zong once said that his simple living habits come from being born into a poor family and facing countless difficulties.

“People who want to work must first have ideals. Right now I don’t need to continue earning money for the rest of my life. But I still work hard and want to work. We have to pay “contribute to society and the country” the tycoon shared.

Zong Fuli – Mr. Qinghou’s daughter is highly talented and educated and is managing a large corporation, but she is still single even though she has moved on. age 40. This is probably something that troubled her father when he was alive.

She once shared that she could not find a decent guy. Men only wanted to love Zong Fuli for money. “I feel pessimistic about love” Zong Fuli expressed.

In 2023, Mr. Zong Qinghou was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery, but this tycoon still worked. Even though his daughter took over the company, he still went along. January 2024 Zong Qinghou lies in a hospital bed ‘s health is weak but still discusses work with subordinates.

He once said: “For me Wahaha is my entire dream life. All brand values ​​and company symbols are proof that I existed in the world hey”.