The story appears on

Page A3

February 26, 2024

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » News

Wahaha founder Zong dies aged 79

Zong Qinghou, the founder and chairman of Wahaha Group, China’s leading beverage maker, passed away yesterday, at age 79, due to an unspecified illness, the company announced.

Zong, a three-time topper of Forbes China’s mainland rich list, was a top entrepreneur in Zhejiang Province.

Born in 1945 in Jiangsu Province, Zong’s journey from a laborer on a farm to the helm of Wahaha is a representative tale of the first generation of entrepreneurs after the country’s reform and opening up.

After completing junior high school, he worked for 14 years at two farms. Returning to Hangzhou in 1978, he became a laborer at a box factory.

In 1987, at the age of 42, Zong borrowed 140,000 yuan (US$19,460) to start the precursor of Wahaha. The launch of the Wahaha children’s drink in 1988 brought him significant success.

Reflecting on his journey, Zong thanked the Party and the government for the opportunities, emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurs contributing to societal well-being through taxes, employment, and charity.

Recognizing the pivotal phase of succession for many Zhejiang entrepreneurs, Zong had early plans for the transition. His only child Zong Fuli returned to China in 2004 after finishing her education abroad, establishing Hongsheng Beverage Group.

In 2018, she became the PR department director and currently serves as the vice chairman and general manager of Wahaha Group.

In 2023, Zong was ranked 31st on the Hurun China Rich List with a net worth of 95 billion yuan.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend