A dream-carrying merchant boat travels in the moon
——Interpretation of the “Hunan Army” force in Hunan’s private economy
Luggage companies sell goods live.
Zijiang – both sides of the river.
Compared with the big rivers, Zijiang is more calm and deep. Hunan merchants can be described as rising stars compared to Shanxi merchants and Hui merchants. As a powerful merchant in Hunan, Shao merchants have dreamed of trading boats since ancient times. They traveled far and wide, from the Zijiang River to the Yangtze River, from the Yangtze River to the East China Sea, and from the East China Sea to the world. They created a business legend and wrote a colorful chapter for Hunan’s private economy. One stroke. After the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial Government put forward the call to “make Hunan businessmen more popular in Hunan”, millions of Shao businessmen seemed to have smelled the “tide” coming from Sanxiang, and aroused their ambition to return to their hometowns to start businesses.
Zeng Bailong Cao Hui
For a long time, Shaoshang generally referred to Shaodong businessmen and was a powerful force in the private economy of our province.
When you mention Shaodong, what are the memory fragments in your mind? It may be lighters, bags, hardware, and traditional Chinese medicine; it may be the birthplace of “counterfeit goods” and street stall goods; it may be a businessman who pulls a pallet truck during the day and drives a luxury car at night… …Put away your arrogance and prejudice and walk into Shaodong again. When you see the signs of each manufacturer, you will be surprised: “It turns out that these big brands are all made by Shaodong.” At this time, you will definitely have the urge to get to know Shaodong again. .
1 A cultural trip
——The grand courtyard preserves the spirit of Shaoshang
In the cold season, the misty rain in southern Hunan is wrapped in cool mist, passing by Qingshui Village in Shaodong, and the majestic figure of Yinjiatang at the head of the village is like a dream. This courtyard was built in the third year of Daoguang reign of the Qing Dynasty (1823), with blue bricks, blue tiles and blue stone slabs, giving it an antique beauty. There are one hundred and eight main rooms, which is enough to explain the wealth of the owner of the courtyard.
The Yin Family Hall is to Shao merchants, just like the Qiao Family Courtyard is to Shanxi merchants, it is regarded as a cultural carrier and spiritual home. The owner of the courtyard, Shen Chengshu, was once the largest rice merchant in central Hunan. He usually lived on a simple diet and wore linen and cloth shoes. He was also good at business, united with neighbors, and was charitable. It was said that he was the reincarnation of the “Wealth Star”. The various legends of Yinjiatang are endowed with the “spirit of teamwork”, “spirit of charity” and “spirit of innovation” – this may be the tacit understanding of generations of Shaoshang; perhaps it is the “cultural code” implanted in the blood. As time goes by, Shao Shang’s wealth may have changed, but the Shao Shang spirit carried by Yinjiatang has always been firm and unchanging.
Standing in front of the majestic building of Yinjiatang, you can see the clouds of history and hear the bells of business roads. To trace the origins of Shao Shang and find the roots of culture, we need to clear away the historical clouds 2,500 years ago to discover the activities of the pioneers of Shao Shang. According to historical records, during the Spring and Autumn Period, Shao merchants entered Dongting from Zijiang River, followed the Yangtze River to the East China Sea, and carried out business on their backs. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Shao merchants built guild halls, built wharves, and opened commercial ports in various places. With a series of woolen planks, they built the Baoqing Wharf in Hankou that radiated across the country.
The blue waves of Dongting rolled for eight hundred miles, and the Hunan-Chu culture lasted for thousands of years. Until Shaoyang walked out of Wei Yuan, he “opened his eyes to see the world” and used the foresight of “dare to be the first” to put forward the idea of ”managing the world for practical use”, which laid the foundation for later generations. Shaoshang has been given a new cultural label and injected new action power. Shaoshang began to take the lead in reforming the trend, and opened up his spiritual soul, forming a unique temperament of being tyrannical with wisdom, and wisdom with bravery. They broke free from hardships and began to emerge in the field of commerce. Especially in modern times, Shaoshang created China’s first small commodity market; founded Hunan’s first private enterprise; established Hunan’s first private economic development zone; built It opened the first friendship channel from China to Laos and so on, setting many firsts in the history of private economic development in the country and the province.
In today’s era of economic globalization, Shaoshang is still an active and somewhat mysterious group. No one will tell you that there are millions of Shao merchants developing around the world, with total assets exceeding 4 trillion yuan; no one will tell you that most prefecture-level cities in China have Shaoyang Road or Shaoyang Street, with more than 100 There is a Shaoyang (Baoqing) Chamber of Commerce in every city; no one will tell you that a quarter of Laos’s GDP was created by Shaoyang merchants…
If you go deeper into history and search for the “code” for the rise of Shao Shang, you will find that the glorious history of Shao Shang is actually a history of suffering and struggle. We followed the footsteps of Shaoshang, heading west along the Shanghai-Kunming Expressway, crossing Shuangfeng and entering Shaodong, and found that the geological and landforms have changed greatly. The land here is shallow and barren, with many rocky mountains and little cultivated land. When a land and water cannot support a person, leaving one’s hometown and “working out” to earn a living becomes an inevitable choice for survival. This “working out” has actually made countless Shao merchants stand out and become famous.
The difficult environment did not allow the Shaoshang ancestors to live a comfortable life. Under the unfavorable conditions of not being along the border, not by the sea, not by the river, without strong internal resources, and lacking location advantages externally, in a small land with many people and little land, Shao Shang used the courage to “dare to be the first” and “endure hardship to dominate the barbarians”. With his courage and determination, he relies on a pair of hard-working hands, a pair of sturdy soles, and a flexible brain to make a living, make profits, and seek a future. Gradually, a proverb spreads in the business field: “Nine-headed birds in the sky, Hubei guys on the ground, ten A Hubei guy is no match for a ‘Baogu guy’ (from Shaoyang).”
Despite this, Shao Shang is still an existence “raised in a boudoir that no one knows about”. Shao merchants are not as famous as Shanxi merchants and Hui merchants. An important reason is that the ancient economic center of Hunan was in Tanzhou (Xiangtan, Changsha), which was a more prosperous commercial port. Few historians established a monument or biography for Shao merchants who came from the southwest border. There are very few historical materials, and it is difficult to see its clear historical development context, resulting in the Shaoshang phenomenon existing in the form of “regional culture” for a long time.
Until July 12, 1978, the “People’s Daily” published a commentary titled “Opening up the Farmers’ Market”, affirming the practice of individual traders in the Shaodong Farmers’ Market to actively communicate information and quickly sell day lilies and other agricultural and sideline products to all parts of the country. Shaoshang experienced the first round of blowout as a “self-employed”. Since then, the private economy has gained momentum and the status of private entrepreneurs has improved. Biographies and reports have begun to appear on some of the leading Shao merchants, presenting a more magnificent history of the development of Hunan’s private economy.
2 A string of famous names
——A history of private operations and half Shaodong people
Looking through this magnificent history of Shaoyang’s private economic development, there are many resounding names of Shaoshang – “the number one private enterprise in Hunan” Zeng Xiaoshan, the “head” of the multi-millionaire hatchery Tang Renkui, the “Flashlight King” Deng Guoqiang, Jiang Zhong, the “King of Pants”, Song Jiefeng, the man who built the “canal”, Zheng Boping, the “model of rural sages”… A “big change unseen in a century” has illuminated a group of vivid groups.
This is a group that is marked by the times and endowed with cultural characteristics. Later experts and scholars continued to study the cultural code of Shaoshang’s success and came to different conclusions – some said that Shaoshang inherited Wei Yuan’s idea of ”dare to be the first and be practical in the world”; some said that Shaoshang had “eat” Some people say that Shaoshang adheres to the business philosophy of “honoring trust and valuing righteousness, upholding Qi and rejoicing in straightness”. Although these statements can be found in real examples and live individuals among the Shaoshang group, they are also the historians’ view that “viewed from the side, there are ridges and peaks, and the heights are different from near to far.”
To interpret Shaoshang culture, we need to get close to each living individual.
Zeng Xiaoshan is a hale and hearty old man with a smile like Maitreya. Even in his twenties, he is still running for his career and “steering” the family.
He worked as a bamboo craftsman at the age of 25. At the age of 35, with a capital of 2,000 yuan, he founded the first private enterprise in Hunan, Shaodong Liuze Aluminum Factory, and has since entered the aluminum product manufacturing industry. Many local elderly people recalled: “The first aluminum rice cooker used at home was produced by Mr. Zeng’s family.”
At that time, Zeng Xiaoshan was the first to stand up and start a private enterprise, which was like knocking down the “dominos” in people’s minds during the budding market economy, and the chain effect quickly spread. “He can do it, and so can I. He can be the boss, and I can be the boss.” With their savings, the Shaodong bosses have the “ambition” of running a business and becoming the boss. Generations of Shaodong businessmen have been “fighting” one after another. “Shanghai.
After the demonstration effect of “leading geese”, private enterprises popped up like weeds. According to department statistics at the time, by the end of 1980, there were 4,156 self-employed households in Shaodong, employing more than 10,000 people, accounting for almost half of the total number of self-employed households in Hunan Province at that time, and about one-fiftieth of the country’s total.
A group of Shaoyang people moved with the camera and quickly found a “swimming style” that suited them in the tide of the times and became trend-setters.
Zheng Boping, the legal representative of Foshan Shaodong Chamber of Commerce and chairman of Guangdong Otli Tools Co., Ltd., is the first batch of Shao merchants to “go overseas” after the reform and opening up. Many friends and fellow villagers who have been with him for 20 to 30 years have commented on him as “sincere in dealing with people”, not seeking personal gain or selfish motives in his work, and being a “model of a rural sage” who is enthusiastic about the cause of his hometown. Xiao Qiqi, a writer from Shaodong who had an exclusive interview with Zheng Boping, recalled: “Mr. Zheng possesses the Shaoshang qualities of trustworthiness, righteousness, integrity and uprightness. He regards his reputation as a treasure and cherishes it extremely.”
Unity, mutual assistance, and not causing trouble are another outstanding qualities of Shaoshang, and this is particularly prominent in Tang Renkui. Tang Renkui, who came from a grassroots background, started to enter the business world in his teens. Starting from scratch, he founded the first agricultural machinery production company in Laos and gradually grew into the local “agricultural machinery king.” What made Tang Renkui famous was that he led a large number of “fellow villagers” to start their own businesses and turned them into multi-millionaires. This is where the title of “head” of the multi-millionaire hatchery comes from.
“Dare to take risks and have the courage to innovate” is the most appropriate way to describe Shaoshang Song Jiefeng. At the beginning of his business, Song Jiefeng pulled a cart carrying electronic watches, calculators, handheld game consoles and other electronic products and hawked them along the street. He did not speak Lao, so he used a calculator to press numbers and tell the other party the price. What no one expected was that a few years later, this “salesman” would not only build an air friendship channel between China and Laos – opening flights from Vientiane to Changsha, but also make special contributions to the settlement of the Lao Consulate General in Changsha. . Someone commented at the time that if it was a matter of course for the Lao Consulate General to settle in Changsha, then Song Jiefeng was the one who built the “canal”.
A series of resounding names enriched the image of Shao Shang. They were Shao Shang who dared to be pioneers, adapted to innovation, and abandoned farming to engage in business. In the era of planned economy, they risked being cut off from the tail of capitalism. They are engaged in business secretly; they are Shao merchants who get up early and work hard at night, carry their luggage on their shoulders, and sleep in the open air. While introducing new products and selling products, they also promote their own culture and beliefs; they are Shao merchants who “work as bosses during the day and sleep on the floor at night.” They started to start a business with very little capital, and made a fortune by various means such as forming a partnership, venturing alone, blowing chaff to see the rice, and settling accounts after the fall; they are Shao merchants who “help relatives, neighbors help neighbors, you take me, and I help you”. When they discover business opportunities, they share them with others. They don’t keep silent about it. They mobilize everyone to work together to make the business bigger… Together they form a majestic statue of Shaoshang Group.
3 A set of exciting numbers
——From “following” in the industry to “leading” on the track
This is a set of surprising figures, created by Shaoshang: injection molded lighters account for 70% of the global market share; schoolbags account for more than 70% of the national market share; red envelope sales account for 80% of the global market; small hardware shares account for 40% of the domestic market %; Purchasers from 15 provinces across the country purchase Chinese medicinal materials in Lianqiao, the “Medicine Capital of Southern China”… Shaoshang’s economic strength is increasing its influence and pulling power on the entire Hunan.
Hunan Dongyi Electric, located in Shaodong Industrial Park, is the “leading” lighter company in Shaodong. Dozens of automated production lines are running at full capacity. The robots use almost perfect postures and cool assembly skills to fix rows of lighters on the card. On the position, press the ignition three times in a row, and the intelligent vision system identifies the ignition situation simultaneously. Qualified products enter the packaging process, and unqualified products fall into the designated position. The whole process takes a few seconds. Race against time for only 1 cent or even a few cents of profit.
For a long time, the price advantage of Shaodong lighters compared to Guangdong lighters was about 1 cent. It is this 1 penny of profit that builds a huge business empire.
Over the past 20 years, lighter manufacturing has grown from a small and profitable “wandering industry” into a traditional pillar industry in Shaodong. With its technological advantages, it has taken root in the local area. From 1 cent to a business empire, Shaodong merchants took the road of “keeping together to keep warm”. They dared to revolutionize themselves. After completing the transformation from a small workshop to a modern factory, they established the Shaodong Lighter Export Supervision Committee to implement unified pricing and unified quotas. , unified transportation, unified insurance, and unified efforts to strive for policy support, thereby changing the disorderly competition in the industry and consolidating the cornerstone of the lighter “business empire”.
A penny of profit creates a tens of billions industry. At present, there are 12 export lighter manufacturers in Shaodong, more than 80 upstream and downstream industrial chain companies, more than 300 lighter categories, tens of thousands of employees, and an annual output of more than 10 billion yuan. The products are exported to 100 countries including India, Nigeria, Russia, and the United States. There are many countries, with Southeast Asia being its main export market. Hunan Yongji Products Co., Ltd. is also focusing on small profits to create a big market. Chairman Yang Guisheng started from a small family workshop with only a dozen employees. After more than ten years of unremitting efforts, the company has become the largest in China. A company that produces and sells red envelopes, accounting for 80% of the global red envelope market.
There are some villages scattered on both sides of the Tongjiang River in Shaodong. It is also the starting point for many Shao merchants to venture out. In the 1980s, every household in the village used sewing machines to make bags. Bags were called “bags” in Shaodong dialect, and these villages were also called “bag professional villages.” More than 40 years have passed, and at least two generations of Shaodong bag merchants have emerged from the “Bagging Professional Village”. They bid farewell to the traditional production and sales model of front shops and back factories, and began to “wash their feet and go to the fields”, entering the city and entering the park, creating another pillar industry in Shaodong – —Luggage industry, with an annual output of over 168 million bags, sold all over the world.
“Every household is clanging, and every fire is burning…” “Gold is forged, silver is forged, forge a pair of scissors to give to my sister…” The nursery rhymes that were once circulated as the “sound of the city” convey the long history of Shaodong’s hardware industry. Shaodong’s hardware industry can be traced back to the fifth year of Emperor Ping of the Han Dynasty (AD 5). It started from the iron-making and casting of swords using local methods to the production of knife and scissor hardware, with a history of more than 2,000 years. In the 18th century, daily-use knives, scissors and other hardware tools handmade by local folk were sold well in the southwestern provinces. Later, a series of wrenches, pliers and hammers were gradually introduced from Shandong, Hebei and other places, gradually stretching the industrial chain. Today, there are more than 350 hardware companies in Shaodong, with more than 130 kinds of hardware products, an annual production capacity of 300 million sets, and annual sales of 1 billion yuan.
In Shaodong, there is a popular song that is more melodious than nursery rhymes: Who painted an ink landscape painting/Like wind like rain, like clouds like fog/Who bound a Shaodong thread-bound book/Treasured the Yaodu Mianmian family tree… …The female singer from Shaodong would rather use her sweet singing voice to make the reputation of Lianqiao, the “Medicine Capital of South China” spread in China.
Lianqiao Chinese medicinal materials market was “pushed” by Shao Commercial Vehicles. In June 1928, the first bus station in the history of Shaoyang County was established at the Lianqiao section of Tanbao Highway. More and more people came to Lianqiao to open shops. A few years later, it developed into a market town with more than a hundred shops. “Chutianchun” and “Sanyi” A number of time-honored pharmacies such as “Zhuang” have emerged, and the medicinal materials market has begun to take shape.
In 2004, the local government took advantage of the situation to develop the Chinese medicinal materials industry and improve the quality of the Chinese medicinal materials market, making Lianqiao one of the 17 professional medicinal materials markets in the country, with 11,000 employees, a daily throughput of more than 400 tons of medicinal materials, and an annual transaction volume of more than 85 billion. billion, the “pharmaceutical capital of southern China” has become even more famous. Recently, the first Hunan (Lianqiao) Traditional Chinese Medicine Industry Expo was held in Lianqiao. More than 400 well-known companies across the country signed up to participate in the exhibition, and 960 professional buyers participated. The total trade turnover was 12.864 billion yuan. The “Medicine Capital of Southern China” has become popular again. Bundle.
After lighters, bags, small hardware, and traditional Chinese medicine became traditional pillar industries, Shaodong gained the reputation of “the hometown of hundreds of industries” and provided a broad platform for “mass entrepreneurship and innovation.” Relying on the strong industrial and trade foundation of their hometown, many Shaoyang people carried bags, carried poles, and rode motorcycles to sell “hometown goods.” They traveled all over the country and integrated into the bustling world. Many of them were already Shaoshang leaders when they returned. These returning “geese” began to feed and build their hometown.
4 A group of geese return
——Shaoshang became more popular after returning to his hometown
Fellow, a unique term that combines geographical and blood relationships, is called “fellow” in Hunan dialect and has a cordial and charming flavor. No matter where Hunan people go, they can always meet fellow villagers, or half fellow villagers, and Shaoshang people living abroad are no exception. This is very “Chinese” and very “Hunan”. “Fellow fellow” seems to have become an emotional thread, with hometown at one end and Shaoshang at the other end.
After Hunan issued a call to “welcome fellow villagers, return to hometowns, and build hometowns,” the province opened its doors to welcome business and beat the “drums” for investment promotion, and batches of Shao merchants returned like “wild geese formations.” According to incomplete statistics, Shaoshang investment has accounted for 70% of the investment in Shao, becoming the main force in the development of the local private economy. Some of them have not forgotten to give back to their hometowns when they got rich; some have set up businesses in their hometowns to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation; Some build roads and bridges to benefit the villagers; some build schools to cultivate the next generation and contribute to local economic and social development.
After Shen Xiaoming, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, issued a call to “make Hunan businessmen more popular in Hunan”, the majority of Shao businessmen were more and more interested in returning to “Hunan”. These Shao merchants who returned to their hometown had similar feelings about their return, and their methods of return were different – some returned to their hometowns to focus on local development; some opened trading companies on the coast and moved production factories or headquarters back to their hometowns; and some returned to their hometowns. After leaving the countryside, they brought more “fellows” into the business world…
In Shaodong Industrial Park, in the production workshop of Hunan Liangguo Technology Co., Ltd., pairs of contact lenses with contact lenses are being packaged one after another and sent abroad. The road to domestic substitution of thin contact lenses was very difficult. Tang Shunchu spent nearly half his life to realize this wish. More than 30 years ago, Tang Shunchu, like most Shaodong people, left his hometown to enter the business world and set up a stall in Gansu to make a living. He gradually grew from a “stall owner” to the chairman of Liangguo Technology. In 2017, Tang Shunchu, who has traveled around the world, returned to his hometown with funds and technology to promote the transformation and upgrading of Shaodong’s traditional glasses industry. At present, Liangguo Technology has reached a daily production capacity of 40,000 contact lenses. Tang Shunchu said: “The so-called hometown is a place that you can never leave or forget even if you travel through thousands of mountains and rivers.”
Shaoshang people returned to their hometown one after another, not only out of attachment to their hometown, but also out of recognition of the development potential of their hometown. Xinfeng Village in Shaodong is a famous local “bag village” (the villagers make bags as a profession). Li Gangqing, chairman of Hunan Chunlong Luggage Co., Ltd., was born here. In 2021, Li Gangqing returned to his hometown to set up a luggage processing factory, leaving the foreign trade company on the coast. He said: “When I returned to my hometown to start my own business for the second time, I valued the development potential of my hometown. There are more than 1,400 luggage manufacturing companies in Shaodong, with an annual production of 168 million luggages and an output value of more than 10 billion yuan. It has a complete industrial chain and a good industrial foundation.”
Deng Biao, chairman of Hunan Chuangyida Industrial Development Co., Ltd., left his hometown at the age of 16 and went to Gansu to set up a stall selling glasses and clothing. He later made a fortune by making home appliances. In 2017, Deng Biao responded to the call of the Provincial Party Committee and moved the factory back to his hometown in Shaoyang. With the support of the local government, he founded his own brand, and his product line expanded from traditional tablets, laptops, car TVs, monitors, televisions and other fields to independently developed smart cloud blackboards and smart conference systems. Deng Biao said: “Shaoshang will not only become more popular in Hunan, but his career will also reach a higher level.”
“Whoever said that Shaoyang is not good, I am in a hurry with him!” Yang Zhiwei, chairman of Zhujiang Pawn and executive vice president of Guangdong Shaoyang Chamber of Commerce, is a straightforward man. Due to the particularity of the enterprise, he did not return to his hometown to start a business, but his “love “Already on the way home. He paired up with five poor students in his hometown and helped them go to college. Today, he still has the holiday blessings sent to him by the children and the sincere words of gratitude from their parents in his mobile phone. Many Shao merchants are using this kind of love and giving to support their families.
“Spring does not mean that a single flower stands alone, but spring fills the garden with a hundred flowers blooming.” Zou Lianyun, chairman of Shaoyang Lianyun Group Company, relied on sincerity and perseverance to use the “migratory bird economy” model of mining outside and returning to his hometown to start a business, and brought his hometown to Huangpi Village, Hetian Township, Longhui County. It has become a well-known wealthy village. There are 11 households worth tens of millions of yuan, 82 households worth one million yuan, and more than 40 high-end cars in the village. Most of the villagers have followed him to make a fortune. He also helped more than 6,000 fellow villagers escape poverty and embark on the road to common prosperity.
The return of Shaoshang stems from nostalgia, but it is more than nostalgia. Hunan is creating a business environment where “it’s easy to get things done when you’re in Hunan”. Together, we can promote the return of Shaoshang’s industries, capital flow, project investment, talent gathering, and headquarters redevelopment. The tide has arrived, and Shao Shang took action upon hearing the news.
The regions are different, the nostalgia remains unchanged, the mountains and rivers are different, but the will is the same. The pioneer of Shaoshangzhong, the blue road connects the mountains and forests, and the successors of Shaoshangzhong draw the blueprint for “three highs and four new”.
First instance: Lu Yiping, second instance: Zeng Bailong, third instance: Zou Lina