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EY’s awards for Chinese entrepreneurs

A dozen of successful Chinese entrepreneurs were awarded the EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Shanghai today and then gave reflections on their stories, and staying humble was one of the secrets of their success.

Wang Zhenghua, chairmen of Shanghai-based low cost carrier Spring Airlines, and Li Ruigang, chairmen of local media investment group CMC was on the award list this year, together with nine other chief officers of firms from industrial production, technology, pharmaceutical and life science sector.

"I set up a small airline company," Wang introduced himself in an understatement of his business which created 3.9 billion yuan (US$563.8 million) of revenue in the first half of this year.

"In a monopolized air transportation market in China, Spring Airlines made many tough moves to get to where it is now," Wang said. "From time to time we are exposed to criticism of not yet opening certain popular lines such as Shanghai to Beijing, but sometimes finding yourself and being yourself is important for a small player like us."

Along the journey of entrepreneurship, the philosophy of keeping a clear mind over the two sides of a coin is crucial, said Francis Leung, chairman of CVC Capital Partners and the judging chairman of this award in Shanghai today.

The senior investor is known as "the father of red chips" in Hong Kong stock market.

"Capital market has now provided plenty of liquidity and opportunities for entrepreneurs,” Leung said. “But we have to be clear that not every company that burns investment into marketing is able to grow into a good company. It needs strategy as well as humility."

The annual award, presented by one of the "big four" accounting firms Ernst & Young, choose successful business leaders from more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries on vision, leadership and achievement.


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