Born in Zhuanghe in Liaoning province in 1971, Xu Ming became legal secretary to the city’s Foreign Economic and Trade Commission straight after university. He had an entrepreneurial eye from the start, and soon had his first success with a shrimp deal. The export of live shrimps was then prohibited so Xu Ming exploited a loophole to ship out the cooked variety.
By 1991, Xu had left his government job to start a construction and engineering company, winning two major works contracts to build public squares in Dalian. That led him a year later into manufacturing building materials. By 1995, under the newly created holding company Dalian Shide, Xu had moved into plastics, particularly the production of PVC window frames and doors.
Home appliances to hospitals…
Since 2000, Dalian Shide has expanded beyond its core construction materials business to add subsidiaries producing water heaters and other home appliances; and financial services, primarily through shareholdings in insurance companies Sino Life and China Pacific, as well as investments in banks and fund management firms. The Shide Group has also expanded into healthcare and operates 25 specialist hospitals in northern China.
And football too…
His firm is perhaps most popularly known throughout China as the owner of the Dalian Shide football club, one of the country’s most successful teams (Xu bought the club – then called Dalian Wanda – from Wang Jianlin, see Who’s Hu, WiC40).
Xu has tried to acquire other teams in areas where he has business activities (he owned other teams in Dalian, as well as clubs in Guangdong and Sichuan). “Where there is Shide’s industry, there is a Shide football team“ was the motto. But the Chinese Football Association wasn’t keen to have so many teams owned by a single company, and Xu was forced to sell them on.
He ranked 88 on the 2009 Hurun Rich List, worth Rmb8.6 billion.
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