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Fuyao Glass Founder Appeals To Chinese Roots
2015-08-28

by Shu-Ching Jean Chen

This story appears in the September 2015 issue of Forbes Asia.

Cao Dewang (also known as Cho Tak Wong)

FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN, FUYAO GLASS

Reminding China of its Roots

Cao grew up playing with the neighborhood kids on the grounds of a small temple under lush trees in Fuqing city, Fujian Province. Now he has transformed the site into a vast center of education and religion that boasts Buddhist and Taoist temples and a redbrick high school.

A gold-plated Buddha sits next door to a giant statue of Confucius with open arms to greet schoolkids. Cao donated $75 million for the construction and operation of the complex while also planning the design and supervising the work.

“This is an example I wanted to set as a businessman, to show the public that success needs to come with a value system,” says the billionaire head of China’s largest automotive glass maker. He’s appealing to a deep-rooted but increasingly forgotten theme in Chinese culture, that Chinese civilization was shaped by three guiding lights: Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

Cao is a prodigious giver, doling out nearly $1 billion over the years. In 2011 he launched his Heren Foundation with a donation of 300 million Fuyao shares, then equal to a 15% stake. Its stake is now worth $625 million and yielded $35 million in dividends this year.

In 2010 he earmarked $30 million for victims of a drought in 5 southwestern provinces and dispersed the aid in an unusually transparent way: Nearly 100,000 farmers in 5,000 villages got help and each grant was recorded individually, with receipt documented, acknowledged and made public. –Shu-Ching Jean Chen.

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