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Secret of Huaxi Village become China's No.1

Reporter: Xing Zheming 丨 CCTV.com

06-10-2016 12:48 BJT

Full coverage: 95 years of glory

There is a village in China's eastern Jiangsu Province named Huaxi, which claims to be China’s number-one village. In the eyes of many, Huaxi is China's richest village, with its residents living in big houses, and driving luxurious cars. How did such a tiny village develop so dramatically over the past decades?
Looking at this village, you might be forgiven for thinking that you were not at the countryside in China.

Big houses line up, fancy cars everywhere, there’s even a 5-star hotel for tourists. And that’s just the tip of an iceberg. The village owns a listed group with over 100 subsidiaries, earning tens of billions yuan in revenue every year.

The group owns companies that cover almost all sectors, from traditional industries like steel and manufacturing, to cutting-edge technologies like chip-making.

Huaxi Village has a lot of experience in tackling poverty and seeking new ways to build prosperity. But can its path to prosperity become an example for other villages across China? I spoke with Mr. Wu Xie'en, the secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) of Huaxi Village, who's also the chairman of Huaxi Group.

"There's an old saying in China -- 'nothing is impossible and it all depends on man'. And that man in Huaxi Village was our late secretary, Wu Renbao. With his leadership, many talented people joined him to make a change," said Wu.

Huaxi Village and its enterprises thrive on the back of China's fast-expanding industrial sector. And the village’s massive business giant rose from a small factory, which was founded by a group of villagers in Huaxi.

Back then, the villagers could not get a bank loan to fund the factory. But that didn’t stop the late secretary Wu Renbao. He went from door to door and explained to every family why it was important for them to chip in.

"The late Secretary Wu hoped to serve the local people, and lead them to more prosperity. That was his life-long commitment," Wu said.

Through years of efforts and hardships, along with unstoppable reform and the introduction of professionals, Huaxi Group continued growing full speed ahead.

Each villager now enjoys an average yearly income of over 100-thousand yuan. That includes salaries as employees, bonus as villagers, and dividends as shareholders. Their annual income is 10 times that of an ordinary rural villager.

Huaxi Village now earns a reputation of the "No.1 Village in China". And it has become a case study for many Chinese officials and business leaders, as they learn how this village grew from almost nothing 55 years ago, to the mega-rich that it is today.

But as China's economy shifts gear, and other urgent issues like environmental pollution and over-capacity emerge, how will this large-scale group company cope with these challenges?

"We started to conduct research and market analysis since 2000. We found that risks emerge when traditional industries seek expansion through re-investment in the Yangtze River delta region. Labor costs, land costs were rising greatly. A more urgent issue is the worsening environmental pollution," Wu said.

Led by Secretary Wu, Huaxi Group is now seeking new growth engines.

"Based on our condition, we decide to seek new opportunities in the services sector," Wu said.

The group has expanded to cover areas in finance, investment, logistics, maritime engineering and wholesale agricultural products.
Huaxi Group hopes to allow more Chinese villages to prosper. In the past decade, they’ve trained over 400-thousand grassroots level officials in over 20 provinces across China.

But Secretary Wu says he hopes these officials can learn what's beneath the miraculous development, for them to find their own way to prosperity and not simply duplicate Huaxi Village’s model.

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