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China's revolutionary history enlightens Internet tycoons

06-19-2011 13:53 BJT Special Report:Celebrating 90th Anniversary of the Founding of CPC |

SHANGHAI, June 19 -- "Now you have a 50-strong team. What can you expect from its development over the next 28 years? Remember, the Communist Party of China (CPC) managed to grow from a 50-member organization into the ruling party of the country in just 28 years. Amazing!" Chen Xiang'an said.

Chen, chief executive officer (CEO) of 116.com.cn, a Chinese Internet portal, made the remarks via his Sina microblog during a four-day tour of historic CPC-related sites in Shanghai and Zhejiang Province.

Chen and some other senior high-ranking executives of China's biggest Internet companies, embarked on the tour to discover the history of China's ruling party and adapt some of the strategies the Party had used to ascend to power to their own businesses.

Other Internet tycoons taking part in the tour included Zhang Chaoyang, CEO of sohu.com; Ding Lei, CEO of Netease; Li Yanhong, CEO of Baidu; Cao Guowei, president and CEO of sina.com; Gu Yongqiang, CEO of youku.com and Zhou Hongyi, chairman of Qihu 360.

These business people visited the location of the first CPC National Congress, which was held in July 1921. They also attended lectures on CPC history and held discussions to share their thoughts and ideas on the tour.

The annual tour, sponsored by the Internet management office of the Beijing municipal government, has allowed representatives from dozens of leading Internet companies to visit historic revolutionary areas around the country for the past nine years.

This year's tour destinations included Xibaipo, where CPC leaders lived for ten months in 1948 while preparing for the CPC's new role as China's leading party; and Jinggangshan, where Mao Zedong established a rural base for the Chinese revolution in 1927.

In addition to learning about the country's revolutionary history, the Internet tycoons drew inspiration from the development of the CPC to apply to their own entrepreneurial efforts.

"In light of the hardships of China's revolution, how could the CPC manage to steer the situation, launch proper policies and unite people from all walks of life? This is an issue far more profound than those described in business administration textbooks," said Sohu CEO Zhang Chaoyang, who has participated in the tour six times.

"How can a small business compete with big companies? Chairman Mao Zedong's guerrilla tactics will tell you to avoid competing with them in areas where they are strong, but to focus on their weaknesses," said Qihu 360 chairman Zhou Hongyi.


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