Dr. Lu Guanqiu 1945-2017
Dr. Lu Guanqiu was born in 1945 in Xiaoshan, Zhejiang Province. In 1969, he founded a small bicycle repair shop in Hangzhou, at a very difficult time for private enterprises in China. Through his hard work and entrepreneurship, the company survived and grew, eventually becoming focused on auto parts. This company he founded became known as Wanxiang Group, after the Chinese name for the universal joint, which became the specialty product of the company. In the 1980s, Dr. Lu began exporting these universal joints, and other automotive products, to foreign countries, making it one of the first Chinese companies to do so. As one of the earliest and most successful Chinese entrepreneurs, Dr. Lu was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in May of 1991. The company continued to expand globally under his leadership, establishing an overseas headquarters in the US in 1994.
Dr. Lu served as the Wanxiang Group Chairman of the Board of Directors. Thanks to his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit, Wanxiang, known as the evergreen tree in China, is now the largest auto parts supplier in China, and one of the largest privately-owned companies there, with revenues of $25 billion a year.
Dr. Lu was elected to be the deputy of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh National People's Congress. He held many positions in his career, including Vice Chairman of China Enterprise Confederation/China Enterprise Directors Association (CEC/CEDA); Chairman of China Township Enterprises Committee; Executive Director of China Center for International Economic Exchanges; Honorary President of Zhejiang Enterprise Confederation/Zhejiang Enterprise Directors Association; and Honorary President of Zhejiang Industrial Economy Confederation.
In December 2002, when he was Secretary of the Communist Party of Zhejiang Province, Xi Jinping visited Wanxiang. He praised Dr. Lu and Wanxiang for always keeping with the pace of Reform and Opening, and running in the right direction. In January 2011, Dr. Lu was invited by the President Obama to participate in the U.S. - China CEO Roundtable, co-chaired by President Obama and President Hu Jintao in the White House. There, Dr. Lu made a serious commitment that Wanxiang will actively participate in clean energy cooperation between China and the United States. The company lived up to its word, with major investments in bankrupt US clean energy companies, saving and creating thousands of American jobs. On April 28, 2013, Dr. Lu attended the National Model Workers conference in Beijing, and President Xi Jinping praised Dr. Lu and Wanxiang for keeping pace with the times, and always being a leader of the trends.
Dr. Lu died in October 2017. He is remembered as a true forward-looking business visionary, and is one of the most well-known and respected business leaders and entrepreneurs in China of recent times.