A Legend Entrepreneur! Wahaha Group founder Zong Qinghou Passes Away.


Zong Qinghou, the former richest man in China and founder of Wahaha Group, has passed away.

On February 25, 2024, according to a message released by the Wahaha Group, its founder and chairman, Zong Qinghou, passed away in Hangzhou after an illness, at the age of 79. Zong Qinghou established the well-known brand Wahaha and is hailed as one of the representative figures of private enterprises in China after the reform and opening-up.

Zong Qinghou

Zong Qinghou was an entrepreneur who started from scratch. In 1987, he founded the Wahaha Group with two retired teachers and a loan of 140,000 yuan. From the initial school-run enterprise distribution department to today's 50 billion yuan business empire, Zong Qinghou's entrepreneurial journey is a vivid epitome of China's reform and opening-up. Through innovation, he built "Wahaha" into a household name, becoming one of the evergreens in China's food and beverage industry.

Zong Qinghou's passing has triggered mourning and thought across all sectors. Wu Jianrong, chairman of the board of directors of Zhongnan Holding Group, and Wang Licheng, chairman of the board of directors of Huali Group, among others, stated that Zong Qinghou is a role model for Zhejiang entrepreneurs, and his entrepreneurial spirit will forever inspire future generations. Industry leaders like Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, and Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, have also posted tributes to Zong, expressing their admiration for him.

Wahaha Group employees and citizens of Hangzhou spontaneously gathered in front of the Wahaha Group's former headquarters, offering flowers and products to express their condolences for Zong Qinghou. On social media, people recalled their fond memories of Wahaha, marveling at Zong Qinghou's entrepreneurial spirit and his diligent work ethic.

Meanwhile, Zong Qinghou's death also signifies that the Wahaha Group has entered a new era. Reportedly, Zong Qinghou's daughter, Zong Fuli, was appointed Vice Chairman and General Manager of the Wahaha Group at the end of 2021, marking the beginning of the Zong Fuli era. Upon her succession, Zong Fuli stated that she will continue to uphold Wahaha's development strategy, pushing the company to innovate continuously and explore new markets.

Zong Fuli

Recently, the Wahaha Group held its 2024 national sales work meeting, where Zong Fuli set forth new development goals and strategies. She pointed out that she would open up new sales channels, actively explore new markets, and focus on product innovation and healthy development. Zong Fuli is tasked with inheriting her father's legacy, leading the Wahaha Group towards new heights.


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