Kwan Man Bun, University of Cincinnati
“When thinking about modern China’s chemical industry, forget not Fan Xudong,” so declared Mao Zedong publicly after 1949. Although Mao might have united front politics in mind when invoking Fan as a paragon of the national bourgeoisie, why would the chairman praise a champion of private enterprise? How did Fan Xudong and his colleagues build Yongli from scratch into one of the largest industrial conglomerates in modern China amid predatory foreign competition and domestic strife? What were his secrets of success? Drawing from company documents, government archives, and personal correspondences, this book traces Yongli’s birth, growth, nationalization, and how Fan and his colleagues pursued a third path of national development between for-profit private enterprise and state ownership.