Businessmen cite army service for their success

Zhang Tao

The businesses of one-third of Chinese entrepreneurs have benefitted from their owners' military service, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Daily reported Thursday.

About 60 percent of the entrepreneurs in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta areas, where the economies are thriving, used to be servicemen, the PLA Daily reported.

Wanda Group president and China's wealthiest person, Wang Jianlin, has frequently attributed his success in business to his military experience.

Wang once called Wanda's culture as "army, school and enterprise," which means that the company should be run like an army. Moreover, Wang has maintained his military habit, despite being over 60 years old, the PLA Daily reported.

Other successful entrepreneurs including Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei and Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi also served in the army, the newspaper reported.

"Most of the entrepreneurs served in the army in the 1950s and 1960s, when China faced tougher conditions, and serving in the army was encouraged. Also, being soldiers was a good choice for young people at that time," said military expert Song Zhongping.

"The hardworking spirit the they learned from serving in the army could help their career, especially for startups. Moreover, they were also exposed to a wide range of technologies in the army, which provided a foundation for some of their future careers," Song noted.

The PLA Daily reported that since 1949, around 4.4 million military officers have started to work in local governments, industry, agriculture, commerce and other areas.


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