SIXKangnai, Haili, and Li NingMoving Up the Value Chain
It doesn’t make sense to have our people run in foreign clothes, with foreign ads on their backs.
—Li Ning, China’s greatest Olympic athlete
The Kangnai Group Builds a Brand
WENZHOU DISCOVERS THE LIMITS OF LOW-COST PRODUCTION
ZHENG XIUKANG began working as a shoe-making apprentice in 1979. He was living in Wenzhou, the port providing access to the sea to the mountainous interior of southeastern Zhejiang Province. The first official license to an individual to engage in private enterprise thanks to Deng Xiaoping’s economic reforms was issued in Wenzhou in November 1979, and the city was eager to embrace the tidal wave of entrepreneurialism that was about to sweep through China. But Zheng’s ...