|Chen Lijun, founder and chairwoman of Zhejiang Huari Industry Investment Co Ltd [Zheshang Magazine]|
The company cannot have made so many achievements without China's reform and opening-up policy, said Chen Lijun, founder of Zhejiang Huari Industry Investment Co Ltd and also a leader in Zhejiang's overseas Chinese community.
Chen was born in an overseas Chinese family and returned to China in her twenties to support the construction of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
In 1984, Huari, initially a refrigerator factory, was founded in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, by Chen and her partners as a tide of starting businesses swept China.
"It was not easy for us to make a refrigerator without technology and equipment at that time," Chen recalled. She said at the very beginning, to bring the business on track, they bought some refrigerators from Japan and delved into the components and parts of these Japanese products. After six months, they successfully manufactured a prototype.
Huari became a household name in Hangzhou when it launched the first generation of its self-developed refrigerators at the end of 1984 and the high quality made Huari products a symbol of manufacturing in the city.
However, having the technology and equipment didn't mean getting the allowance for mass production. In 1986, the central government raised strict requirements for refrigerator manufacturers and stated that only companies with national permits could continue with their business, which meant Huari had to compete with large and advanced State-owned companies for the few places.
Over the following year, Chen visited department governments in Beijing seven times and set out the reasons for the company's existence. Chen's sincerity and persistence touched the government officials and eventually, Huari, the only private company, became one of Zhejiang's four winners of the permits.
"We'd gone through a long time of hardship in the course of reform and opening-up. Some companies fell down and some broke through," Chen thought that both the successes and failures were essential for the development process.
Huari has possessed leading technologies in the industry after 30 years of research and development. The application of automatic machines and the adoption of the world's advanced technologies and management methods have made the company shine on the global stage.
Chen thought as a local brand in Zhejiang, Huari now can compete with the world's most advanced refrigerator manufacturers. "Our goal is to make the best refrigerators in the world," she said.
In addition to the commitment to Huari's business, Chen also devoted herself to the development of overseas Chinese in Zhejiang. In hope of enhancing the clout of overseas Chinese people and giving full play to the group's strength, she's exerted a lot of efforts to encourage them to actively participate in the province's development and to manage the affairs of overseas Chinese orderly based on her own experiences.
Chen is known for her philanthropy as well. Showing care to orphans' lives and the development of sports and education, she has donated millions of yuan to charities since the 1990s.
(Source: China Daily)
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