Top 10 influential businessmen of modern China

By Zhang Junmian
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 30, 2011
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  Zhang Jian 张謇


Zhang Jian []

Zhang Jian (1853-1926), was a prominent Chinese industrialist, statesman, educationist and philanthropist during the period between late Qing dynasty and the 1910s. Born in Haimen County, Jiangsu Province, Zhang first strived for fame and honor, but didn't succeed until his 41th birthday, when he attained Zhuangyuan, or champion of the imperial examination in 1894, and then served in Hanlin Academy. In 1896, Zhang founded the Dasheng Textile Company, the first modern cotton mill in Nantong City northwest of Shanghai, and gradually developed the company into a successful conglomerate. His pioneering business empire greatly contributed to the industrial modernization of Nantong.

The scholar-official entrepreneur also attached great importance to education, and founded the Nantong Normal School, the first normal school in modern China. In his life, Zhang established more than 20 companies and 370 schools, making far-reaching contributions to modern China's industrialization and educational development. He also opened Nantong Museum, the first museum in China.

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