Planet China

Mo in full flow

The latest windfall to emerge from Mo Yan’s winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature has less to do with books than booze. The West China Metropolis Daily reports that an engineer surnamed Hou has been the latest beneficiary of the “Mo-mania” sweeping the country (see WiC169). On a drunken whim six years ago Hou decided to register the liquor brand name Mo Yan Zui (it literally means, ‘don’t say that you are drunk’). It cost him Rmb1,000 and at the time Hou didn’t associate the move with the writer at all, whose name then wasn’t so prominent among the general public. That changed when Mo became the first Chinese citizen to win the coveted writing prize. Hou was immediately contacted by distilleries anxious to rollout a new product using his brand name. He initially turned down a Rmb6 million offer but last week Hou made the sale to an unidentified liquor company for Rmb10 million (after tax), thus ensuring a 10,000-fold return on his investment.

Who says that drinking always leads to bad business decisions?


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