Liang Wengen (Chinese: 梁稳根), the Chairman of Sany Heavy Industry, a leading machinery manufacturer in China, was crowned as the country’s wealthiest man in both Forbes and the Hurun Rich List in 2011. With a fortune estimated at US$ 9.3 billion, the magnate is tapped to be the candidate for the Central Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC). If the rumor turns out to be true, Liang would be the first private entrepreneur to ascend to the Central Committee of the country’s ruling party.
Although a rising political star, Liang hasn’t shown any sign that he will retire from his position in Sany conglomerate. According to 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese newspaper, the tycoon would possibly continue his duties at Sany if he ascended to the Central Committee, as doing so would not violate any relevant laws or regulations.
Born in 1956, in a mountainous village of Hunan Province, Liang graduated as a metal material major from Central South University in 1983. Upon his graduation, he worked for the Hongyuan Machinery Factory, a state-owned factory affiliated with the former Ministry of Ordnance Industry. Like thousands of his peers, Liang didn’t enjoy much freedom in selecting the employers at the time when China still had a planned economy and graduates had little choice but to accept the jobs arranged by their schools.
After a year’s toil, Liang quit from the factory, giving up the opportunity to be a cadre, a social status revered by his parental generation, and started his own business. His first venture, selling a number of sheep, ended in failure, as did his second and third business plans. Although he faced one disappointment after another, Liang did not give up. In 1986, his persistence paid off. A factory ordered 105 bronze welding fluxes from him, so that Liang and his partners received 8,000 yuan (about US$1,254) as their first profit, a crucial prelude to Liang’s legend in building the Sany empire. In the following years, China’s modernization, and the country’s voracious appetite for infrastructure construction, has brought Liang infinite opportunities. As his business prospers, Liang’s name has jaunted up the Forbes and Hurun Rich lists.