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Dongguan businesses grow with their city

By Zhan Lisheng ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-09-09 09:01:15

Relationships with Hong Kong and Guangdong help private enterprises, their owners and the area's citizens to flourish together, Zhan Lisheng reports.

China's opening-up has boosted the economic and urban development of Dongguan due to its proximity to and close kinship with Hong Kong, which in turn has turned this hustling and bustling Pearl River Delta city into a hot spot for the development of private businesses.

One of them is Lingnan Landscape Co Ltd, owned by a locally born and bred businessman named Yin Hongwei.

Yin used to be a senior executive with the city's agricultural research station before quitting for his own business.

"Dongguan was planning to give the urban areas a massive facelift at that time and I felt strongly the market potential," he said.

"I set up my own company focusing on landscaping and the business has seen a rapid growth ever since."

Lingnan Landscape has now grown into one of China's most professional and competitive urban landscape solution providers with an inclusive business scope of landscape planning and design, gardening, eco-engineering and cultural tourism.

He said he still remembers the first business order worth 40,000 yuan ($5,995), out of which he earned over 10,000 yuan, a return he dared not dream of when he worked for the State-owned station.

Dongguan businesses grow with their city

His company obtained contracts for the landscaping projects of the State-level Songshan Lake High-tech Zone and the city's administration center square, which not only built up his experience and expertise in the field, but also increased his wealth, putting his company in a more favorable position to tap the markets outside of Dongguan, throughout Guangdong and the nation.

The company got a boost in 2014 when it was listed at the SME board of Shenzhen Stock Exchange, which, he said, made it possible for the enterprise to diversify its business scope to cultural innovation and tourism.

The firm acquired Shanghai-based Hirain Group, a fledgling high-tech cultural innovation firm, in 2015 and has benefited tremendously from the booming VR business thereafter.

Yin's company acquired Shanghai-based Demage International Messe, an exhibition market leader in China with global reach, earlier this year, cementing its foothold in the new business.

Male entrepreneurs are not the only protagonists in the city's growing private sector. Many businesswomen are equally illustrious.

Fang Guiping, chairwoman of Guangdong Garwin Group Co Ltd, is one.

Starting from scratch, Fang retailed nylon underwear in 1979, shortly after China implemented its opening-up policies.

Her business grew by virtue of credibility and trustworthiness from a small retail outlet to a group company involving real estate development, decoration, property management, specialized market development and operation, manufacturing, financial service and venture capital.

Mo Haotang, former chairman of the World Dongguan Entrepreneurs Federation, said Dongguan business people are generally moral, grateful, down-to-earth and pioneering.

"Many of them have a strong sense of corporate social responsibility," he said, referring to both Yin and Fang as exemplary figures.

Yin has launched educational funds in several universities to help students from poverty-stricken families alleviate their financial burden, while Fang has set up a charity fund and has donated as much as 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) in recent years.

Fang is also planning to launch a new fund worth 20 million yuan with other businesswomen for the protection of children. Both Yin and Fang have maintained a positive attitude toward what the federation has done in the past four years.

The non-government organization has always been ready to help whenever businesses face difficulty and has created a platform for them to share their experiences, market information and business opportunities.

Both vowed to play a more active role in the institution.

Yin and Fang are among the 13 outstanding Dongguan entrepreneurs commended during the 2016 World Dongguan Entrepreneurs Convention, which concluded yesterday. Of them, five are from the mainland, four from Hong Kong, one from Australia, one from Malaysia in addition to two other business people of non-Dongguan-origin.

Contact the writer at zhanlisheng@chinadaily.com.cn

Dongguan businesses grow with their city 

Intelligent robots welcome guests at the 2016 World Dongguan Entrepreneurs Convention.Zheng Zhibo / For China Daily

(China Daily 09/09/2016 page24)

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