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From food factory to million-dollar company | Updated: 2017-06-07 11:15

From food factory to million-dollar company

Weng Zhentao

Chairman of the board of Ningbo Qianpu Mechanism, Electricity and Hydraulics Technology Development Company, China Excellent Entrepreneur of Privately-owned Technology Company

In 1977, Weng Zhentao was working at a food factory in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province, when he heard about the resumption of the college entrance examination, gaokao. It was his teacher who found him and persuaded him to prepare for the examination.

"Since primary school, I always came first in my class. It was my dream to take the college entrance examination and go to university," said Weng. "We all tried our best because we all knew that it was the opportunity to change our lives."

Candidates aged from 16 to 33 entered the examination room on a cold wintery day. Weng was 18 years old.

After the examination, candidates had to fill out an application specifying their university and major choices. "At the time, a father of my classmate suggested to me to learn hydraulics as it was a new and promising technology," Weng said. He was impressed by idea and applied for the hydraulic transmission control major in Zhejiang University.

However, things did not go as planned the first time he entered the college. "I did very poorly in the first test in the college. I did not even understand some questions and in the English exam scored zero score," he said.

He decided then and there to do better. He began waking up at 5 am and started learning English words while exercising. After lunch, he stopped took a nap and studied all the way to 11 pm.

"At the time, everyone studied hard. My everyday life was confined to classroom to dining room and to dormitory," he said. His scores got better and later his average marks in all courses rose over 95.

Weng graduated from the university in 1982 and worked as a technician at a plastic machinery plant in Ningbo. Four years later, he made a great innovation in the plastic machinery industry and achieved national patent. "The innovation is for the development of our nation and country," he said.

In 2004, he founded the Ningbo Qianpu Mechanism, Electricity and Hydraulics Technology Development Company and its sales volume exceeded 100 million yuan ($14.7 million) in 2007.

As the first batch of graduates since the college entrance examination resumed, Weng closely followed to the development of Zhejiang University and nurtured talents.

He founded the "Huaye awards education foundation" for excellent teachers in 1997, donated one million yuan to support overseas exchange studies for teachers and students in 2007 and donated 2.5 million yuan for the construction of academic buildings in Zhejiang University in 2011.

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