Whether or not Chen Guangbiao‘s efforts to become a major stakeholder of the New York Times succeed, there’s no doubt that his life story is a remarkable rags-to-riches tale. Before making his fortune with Jiangsu Huangpu Recycling Resources, a company that salvages the remains of torn-down buildings, Guangbiao overcame some tough odds. From the latest report by Reuters reporter Megha Rajagopalan, who spoke to the tycoon today:
“His home village was a very poor place, and they suffered a lot when he was young,” said Hu Xi, a college student and family friend. “His neighbours, who saw him grow up, believe his persona is completely genuine.”
Two of his siblings starved to death when he was four. Chen completed high school, working during the summers to pay his tuition, and went on to study Chinese medicine in the provincial capital before starting down the path of entrepreneurship.
One interesting new tidbit from Rajagopalan’s Friday telephone conversation. Guangbiao says the Hong Kong financier he has partnered with for his NYT efforts has previously completed a pair of acquisition deals with two smaller U.S. media outlets. Read her full piece here.