Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dong Xi

Dong Xi was a general during the Three Kingdoms era of China. He hailed from Yuyao county, Kuaiji commandery . He first entered service with the Sun family under Sun Ce. Dong Xi was supposedly eight feet tall and his warrior skills surpassed many.


Under Sun Ce's service, he slew the Shanyin bandit leaders Huang Longluo and Zhou Bo , earning him several ranks and a thousand more soldiers under his command. He later followed Sun Ce on his solidification campaigns throughout the region.

When Sun Ce was assassinated in 200, his mother Lady Wu was worried that his successor Sun Quan would be too young to govern the region. She consulted Dong Xi about the area's security, and Dong Xi replied, "The lands east of the Yangzi have security from mountains and rivers, while the good government and virtue of Sun Ce have already attracted the people. Sun Quan can build on these foundations, so that great and small follow his commands. Zhang Zhao can look after affairs of government, while others like me act as claws and teeth. With both strategic advantage and popular support, there is certainly nothing to worry about." And the others agreed with him.

Later, the bandits of Poyang rebelled with over ten thousand men, Dong Xi was dispatched with Ling Tong, Jiang Qin and Bu Zhi to suppress them. Wherever Dong Xi went, the rebels under Peng Hu fled, and the rebellion was dealt with in ten days.

In 208, Sun Quan led a punitive expedition against Huang Zu. Huang Zu set two ships covered with ox-hide to guard the channel across Miankou , and he had a great rope of coir-palm fibre, with stones attached as anchors. Above all this were a thousand crossbow men to give covering fire. The arrows poured down like rain and the army could not get forward. Dong Xi along with Ling Tong were together in the van, each in command of a hundred volunteers in double armour. They boarded a great barge, charged the covered ships, and Dong Xi cut the two ropes with his sword, clearing the blockade. The main body of the army then advanced. Huang Zu escaped through a gate but was pursued and beheaded by enemy troops. At a great gathering the next day, Sun Quan raised his goblet to Dong Xi saying, “Today’s gathering is to celebrate the achievement of the one who cut the two ropes!”

At the Battle of Ruxukou against Cao Cao's great army, Sun Quan sent Dong Xi to command the “five-storied ship” and station at the mouth of Ruxu. During the night, there was a large storm and the “five-storied ship” was about to capsize. His subordinates scattered and fled and pleaded for Dong Xi to come out, and Dong Xi replied sternly, “As generals who have received responsibility to get ready to face the rebels, how can anyone flee? Anyone who dares utter this will be beheaded!” And so no one dared to persuade him. Finally, the ship foundered and Dong Xi went down with the ship.

Ding Lei

Ding Lei , is the founder and CEO of NetEase. He made significant contributions to the development of computer networks in mainland China.

Early life

Ding Lei, also known as William Ding, was born in Fenghua, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. He graduated from Chengdu College of Electronic Science and Technology and obtained a Bachelor's degree.


After graduation he first worked in a local government department in Ningbo as an engineer, and then he went to Guangzhou and worked for Sybase there. He founded NetEase and became the richest individual in Chinese mainland in the year of 2003 . According to , his net worth is estimated to be 1.1 billion.

Chen Din Hwa

Chen Din Hwa , is a Hong Kong , billionaire and philanthropist. He's regarded as the Magnate of Cotton Yarn in Hong Kong .


Chen was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China in 1923. His father was a Shanghai-based industralist mainly did business in textile. When Chen was 22 years old, he already became the chief manager of his family business and owns several shops and factories in Shanghai and Ningbo.

1949, Chen's family shifted to Hong Kong and developed business there.


Chen is the chairman of Nan Fung Textiles Consolidated Limited and Nan Fung Development Limited.

In 2005, Chen was reported to be worth US$1,400,000,000.
In 2008's Hong Kong's 40 Richest by Forbes , Chen was ranked as one of Hong Kong's top 10 billionaires.

Bei Shizhang

Bei Shizhang is a renowned biologist and educator. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He was born in Zhenhai, Zhejiang province on 10 October 1903. He is now the oldest member of both the Academia Sinica and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is the founder, the first chief director and current honorary director of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He is a pioneer of Chinese cytology, embryology and the founder of Chinese biophysics. He is considered the "Father of Chinese Biophysics". The asteroid 31065 Beishizhang was named in his honour on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

He obtained his doctorate from the University of Tübingen in 1928.

Zhuang Xiaotian

ZHUANG Xiaotian , is a renowed politician and senior banker. He is the first President of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank .


Zhuang was born in 1933 in Zhenhai County , Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. 1945, he graduated from Weidou Elementary School. He went to Shanghai with his brother. He is a graduate of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Zhuang is the former vice mayor of Shanghai. He was mainly in charge of Shanghai's commerce, trade and industry. He's the current President of the Foundation for Shanghai Elderly, the President of the Shanghai Urban Development Foundation, the Chief Supervisor for the Shanghai Charity Foundation, the President of Shanghai-Ningbo Economic Association , and the President of the Shanghai-Ningbo Chamber of Commerce .

Yue-Kong Pao

Sir Yue-Kong Pao, often referred to as "Sir Y.K. Pao" or just "Y.K.", was the founder of which in the 20 years from purchasing its first second-hand ship in 1955 became by far the largest shipping company in the world with over . Astutely anticipating the seriousness of the shipping downturn starting in the late 1970s he drastically reduced his fleet and was able to pay off associated debt and raise cash to diversify his interests notably through the purchase of a controlling stake in The Hongkong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company Limited and later Wheelock Marden giving an exposure to Hong Kong real estate, shipping terminals, retail, ferries and trams. He was noted for his unmatched access to leaders in both the commercial and political arenas and was equally at ease with Western political leaders and the Chinese leadership in the run up to Hong Kong's ceasing to be a British colony in 1997 . He was also a generous philanthropist notably in educational projects . He died in 1991 but his corporate legacy continues to be controlled and run by his family.

Early Days

Pao was born in 1918 in Ningbo, the 3rd of seven children of a prosperous upper middle class family. In 1931 he went to Hankou to work in his father's shoe manufacturing business whilst continuing his education at night. However, he decided that the shoe business did not suit him and he secured a traineeship with a foreign insurance company. By the age of twenty he was established in his new position and married a young girl selected by his parents, which marriage was to endure until death separated them.

In 1937 Hankou came under attack from the Japanese and Pao along with 70 colleagues moved to Hunan and then Shanghai whilst leaving his wife in the relative safety of Ningbo. In Shanghai he found a position in the insurance department of the Central Trust of China and as tension eased sent for his wife to join him. He was soon moving up the corporate ladder, moving into the area of banking, and moving to Hengyang and Chongqing as the progress of the war dictated. At the end of the war in 1945 he was sent by the Government back to Shanghai to help set up and manage the new Municipal Bank and in a short time had worked his way to Deputy General Manager, effectively in charge.

Move to Hong Kong

With the approaching fall of the "Bamboo Curtain", Pao and all his family had moved to Hong Kong by the spring of 1949 having managed to remit much of the family's assets and money before events made it impossible. It being impossible to resume a banking career and, given the prevailing uncertainties, not wishing to commit to investing in machinery and land in Hong Kong Pao started an Import / Export business dealing in Chinese goods. Following the UN trade embargo resulting from China's entry into the Korean War the company broadened its scope to Europe although trade with China continued in a circuitous way through skilful exploitation of legal loopholes in the embargo. It was during the first half of the 1950s that Pao first made contact with Jake Saunders and Guy Sayer at the . Both were later to become Chief Manager and Chairman of the bank and the relationship was to be a decisive element in the growth of Pao's businesses.

Founding of World-Wide Shipping

As his business grew Pao looked around for suitable new ventures and in 1955 decided to branch into shipping and embarked on an intensive learning process. Shipowning in Hong Kong had a poor reputation at that time with the banks and so the first vessel, a 28 year old coal burning 8,200 tonne freighter, was purchased without finance. Having seen this and the rigorousness employed by Pao in the purchase process, the Hongkong Bank extended a loan for the second purchase, the start of long and fruitful fruitful relationship which lead to Pao being appointed to the board of the bank in 1971 and later to become its Vice Chairman.

The shipping business grew rapidly driven by the post war economic miracle taking place in Japan and the resulting need for freight and oil carrying capacity. Pao devised a system whereby he was able to secure bank guaranteed three year charters prior to purchasing ships thus significantly reducing the business risks and creating a very attractive lending opportunity for the banks financing the ship purchase. This basic scheme was extended when World-Wide moved into commissioning construction of new ships in 1961.

By 1979 the fleet was some 202 vessels with a total of , by far and away the largest fleet in the world. Indeed, the fleet was larger than the combined fleets of the famous , and Lemos families. In recognition of his achievements Pao was made an Honorary Doctor of Law by the in 1975 and in 1976 appeared on the front cover of Newsweek magazine with the heading "King of the Sea". He was knighted in 1978.


1978 saw the start of a severe downturn in the shipping business. Pao and his managers were quick to spot the problem and commenced a programme to reduce the fleet, especially crude oil carriers, selling ships as they came off charter. 140 ships were sold and the fleet reduced by half over a period of 4 to 5 years allowing debt to be paid off and cash resources built up. Although this was a difficult time for World-Wide, the company, through early action and conservative financial management, was able to ride the recession with little of the problems seen elsewhere in the industry.

In the mid 1970s Pao had bought from Li Ka Shing a ten per cent holding in the Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown Co. Ltd and by 1977 had built this to 30%. Wharf had historically been in the sphere of influence. Friction with the Jardine camp broke out in the late 1970s over board appointments which concluded with the Pao camp being allowed two more directorships . Hostilities broke out again in June 1980 with Jardines launching a cash and shares bid for Wharf. Although in Europe at the time, Pao and his team were able rapidly to put together a successful cash tender for shares to take his holding to 49% and securing control of Wharf. Pao then took over the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive. Wharf gave World-Wide exposure to prime Kowloon waterfront property as well as ownership of Hong Kong Tramway and the Star Ferry.

In 1985 Pao was able to take control of Wheelock Marden, one of Hong Kong's premier companies established in 1857, when John Cheung sold his 34% stake to Pao forming a core shareholding from which to launch a bid in opposition to the bid from who had bought John Marden's stake in the company. Wheelock gave World-Wide exposure to more prime central Hong Kong property as well as the Lane Crawford department store.

Other Activities

In 1986 Pao retired from day to day management of the group handing over the shipping business to his son-in-law Helmut Sohmen and the Wheelock / Wharf interests to Peter Woo, another son-in-law. By 1989 he announced that he had given up his interests in the Trusts that held the Pao family assets and gave up his title as Honorary Chairman of World International. He had already retired from his directorship of the Hongkong Bank in 1983 when he hit the mandatory retirement age of 65 but continued to lead a very active life taking in advisory roles and philanthropic activities. Over the years, Pao was on a number of corporate advisory committees including , , AT&T, and .

Pao was active in philanthropic works and was particularly interested in educational projects. Among notable gifts were US$20m to found Ningbo University, a ?14m contribution to the Sino-British Friendship Scholarship scheme to enable Chinese students to attend British Universities and a US$10m gift to build a library at Jiaoting University in Shanghai.


The YK Pao School in Shanghai was founded in memory of Sir Yue-Kong Pao.

Yue-Kong Pao Hall at Purdue University was named in his honor.

Yu Shiji

Yu Shiji , courtesy name Maoshi , was an official of the dynasties Chen Dynasty and Sui Dynasty. He was particularly powerful during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui and became prime minister, and was faulted by traditional historians for placating Emperor Yang and not reacting properly to agrarian rebellions. When Emperor Yang was killed in a coup led by the general Yuwen Huaji in 618, Yu was also killed.

During Chen Dynasty

It is not known when Yu Shiji was born. His father Yu Li was a mid-level official during Chen Dynasty. Yu Shiji was considered knowledgeable and quiet in his youth, and was particularly good at . The high level officials Kong Huan and Xu Ling were both impressed with him, and Xu was so impressed that he compared Yu Shiji to Pan Jun and , and gave a niece to him in marriage. He initially served on the staff of Chen Shuyin the Prince of Jian'an -- the brother to Chen's last emperor Chen Shubao, and later served in the imperial administration as well. Once, Chen Shubao was impressed with an essay Yu wrote on historical uses of the military and he awarded Yu a horse.

During Emperor Wen's reign

In 589, Chen was conquered by Sui Dynasty, and Yu subsequently served in Sui's legislative bureau as a low-level official during the reign of . Despite his position, however, he had little money, and he was forced to take retainers in writing calligraphy in order to support his parent. He once wrote a poem about his poverty, and the poem became famous and praised for its beauty. Eventually, he was promoted within the legislative bureau.

During Emperor Yang's reign

In 604, Emperor Wen died and was succeeded by his son . Emperor Yang was impressed with Yu's talent and began to promote him, particularly after Liu Guyan , the head of the archival bureau , endorsed Yu, and Yu was promoted to be the deputy head of the legislative bureau. His mother soon died, however, and he left imperial service to serve a mourning period, although Emperor Yang soon recalled him to governmental service. Emperor Yang made him, along with Niu Hong , Su Wei, Yuwen Shu, Zhang Jin , Pei Yun , and Pei Ju in charge of selecting and promoting officials, and they were known as the "seven nobles of officialdom." However, it was said that the actual selective powers were in Yu's hands, and that Yu became exceedingly corrupt, making recommendations based on the amount of bribes that he received. It was further said that he was so enamored with his second wife Lady Su that he spent much of his gains in impressing and decorating her. He thus became despised by the people, particularly in comparison to his brother Yu Shi'nan , who was praised for his integrity. It was said that a major reason why Emperor Yang trusted Yu greatly was that Yu was good at figuring out what he intended and following it, notwithstanding any adverse impact such decisions might have on the government or the populace. He appeared to suffer no adverse consequences from his son Yu Zirou 's joining the rebellion of Yang Xuangan in 613, and even Yu Zirou was not executed after Emperor Yang's forces defeated Yang Xuangan.

In 615, while Emperor Yang was visiting the city of Yanmen , Tujue's Shibi Khan Ashina Duojishi made a surprise attack on Yanmen and put it under siege. Emperor Yang was frightened, but Yu suggested that he try to restore the morale by announcing publicly that he was terminating the campaigns against Goguryeo and would award the soldiers greatly if they could lift the siege. Subsequently, Ashina Duojieshi lifted the siege when his wife Princess Yicheng falsely informed him that Tujue was under attack from the north. After the siege was lifted, however, Emperor Yang reneged on both his promises to terminate the Goguryeo campaigns and to reward the soldiers greatly, and much resentment from the people became aimed toward Yu.

In 616, because much of Sui territory had become engulfed in agrarian rebellions, Yu suggested that an army be stationed at Luokou Storage to protect it from pillagers, and Emperor Yang rebuked him for being fearful. From that point on, Yu no longer suggested any tactics against the rebels, figuring out that Emperor Yang did not want to hear about the rebels. When the general was able to defeat several major rebels north of the Yellow River and forced many rebels to surrender, Emperor Yang was surprised at how many rebels surrendered -- and Yu responded by stating, falsely, that Yang Yichen had been able to get all of them to surrender and that Emperor Yang no longer needed to worry. Subsequently, at Yu's instigation, probably because both Yu and Emperor Yang were apprehensive of Yang Yichen's responsibilities, Yang Yichen's forces were disbanded, and Yang Yichen himself was recalled to the imperial government around the new year 617 and ostensibly promoted but was detached from the army. Once Yang Yichen's campaigns terminated, the rebellions went unchecked.

Later in 617, against the advice of a number of officials, Emperor Yang left Luoyang to go to Jiangdu . After Emperor Yang left Luoyang, the rebels became particularly encouraged, and one of the major rebels, Li Mi, seized not only Luokou Storage but also Huiluo Storage , making his army well-supplied while depriving the Sui forces at Luoyang of food supplies. Emperor Yang's grandson Yang Tong the Prince of Yue, left in charge of Luoyang, sent his staff member Yuan Shanda to Jiangdu to request help from Emperor Yang, and Yuan tearfully reported to Emperor Yang, "Li Mi has several million men. He has put Luoyang under siege and occupied Luokou Storage, making Luoyang lack food. If Your Imperial Majesty shall return quickly, his band of men will disband; otherwise, the eastern capital will surely fall." Emperor Yang was touched, but Yu responded, "The Prince of Yue is young and easy to deceive. If the bandits are really that strong, how could Yuan Shanda get here?" Emperor Yang thus became convinced that Yuan was deceiving him and ordered him to go to a rebel-occupied commandery to collect food supplies, and Yuan was killed by the rebels. Thereafter, few officials dared to speak about the rebels.

By spring 618, Emperor Yang, aware that rebels had occupied much of the northern empire, no longer had any intent to return to the north, wishing to take refuge at Danyang , south of the Yangtze River. Yu endorsed the plan, and despite opposition by the general Li Cai , Emperor Yang began building a palace at Danyang in anticipation of moving the capital there. The elite Xiaoguo Army, then with Emperor Yang at Jiangdu, was protecting Emperor Yang, but their ranks, stricken with homesickness, was suffering many defections. Several of its commanders believed that they would be punished, and they decided to carry out a coup, with Yuwen Shu's son Yuwen Huaji the Duke of Xu as their leader. The general Zhang Huishao heard about the plot and reported it to Pei Yun, and Pei and Zhang planned to issue a false edict to have Yuwen Huaji arrested and then mobilize the troops against the coup leaders. They report to Yu, and Yu, believing that the report was false, refused to support the plan. The coup soon went into action, and the coup leaders killed Emperor Yang, and then killed many of his relatives and high level officials. Yu was one that they were ready to execute. Yu's sons Yu Xi , Yu Rou, and Yu Hui all offered to die before their father, and were executed first. Yu Shi'nan offered to die instead of Yu Shiji, but the coup leaders did not accept the offer and executed Yu Shiji.