The day before the surprise arrived, Chu, 91, left in good health. Before that, he had arranged everything properly. After ten years of hard work, there were successors in the 10,000 Mu orange orchard.
On March 5, a reporter from Beijing News learned from the staff of Chu Yibin, Chu Shijians son, that Chu Shijian, the former chairman of Yunnan Hongta Group Co., Ltd. and Yuxi Hongta Tobacco (Group) Co., Ltd., and the founder of Chu Orange, died at the age of 91.
He used to be a famous tobacco king in China. After the disaster of imprisonment, he sold 100 million oranges a year and turned himself into an orange king and created a commercial legend. In 2018, the market value of Chu Orange has reached nearly 200 million. Chu Shijian is willing to let his son Chu Yibin take over Chu Orange.
Chu Yibin is the standard second generation of enterprises. When people mention him, they will naturally add the title of Zhushijian Son.
Im in my fifties this year. Everywhere I go, Im still the son of an old man. Chu Yibin said so in interviews over the past few years. He had fled from his father with the desire for independence, and had experienced the pain and loneliness of being separated from the ocean when his family had an accident and could not return home. He also faced a dilemma in choosing whether to return home or not. He finally chose to return as Chu Shijians son and Chu Yibin himself.
In the last years of Chu Shijians life, father and son, who had been separated by time and space for nearly 40 years, finally reconciled to some extent, even though they still had differences.
Father and son from twisting to easing, Chu Yibin made many concessions, not so much to his father, but to time. People familiar with Chus father and son told reporters.
Father-son Fragment Between Progressive and Reverse
Chu Yibin fled twice
Chu Yibin was born in 1963. If we spread out a map of the world to compare the footprints he left over for many years, we will find that these paths eventually become a regression line: the origin, but also the starting point, is Chu Yibins birthplace, Xinping, Yunnan Province, and the location of his fathers orange garden, where Zhu Yibin started his second venture at an ancient and rare age.
Chu Shijian, as an entrepreneur, began to some extent in Xinping. For two decades after 1958, he worked in local livestock farms, farms and sugar factories. In Zhou Huas Biography of Chu Shijian, Xinping left a warm memory of Zhu Yibins relationship with his father: Zhu Yibin, who was called little brother by his father, would follow Chu Shijian down to catch fish and take a bath by the river. In Chu Yibins memory, no one can catch fish better than Chu Shijian.
But for Chu Shijian, it was the most difficult time in his life. The essence of fish catching that father and son loved was even the means to improve his familys food. Chu Shijians cadre daughter, Xian Yanyun, in her biography for Chu Shijian, recounts that in the 1960s, in order to build the then-led Red Light Farm, he went down to the floods in Yuanjiang to collect driftwood and drowned. At last, he remembered that his family had encouraged him to climb ashore. Chu Shijian remembered this many years later and said, In my life, I have met with death several times. At the last moment, I still cared about my family so that I chose to live.
In October 1979, fate brought about a sudden turnaround and Chu Shijian was appointed director of Yuxi Cigarette Factory. This exhausted tobacco factory was rapidly reborn under the impetus of vigorous and vigorous fashion. By the time Chu Yibin graduated from Kunming Institute of Technology, Yuxi Cigarette Factory had become a hot employment unit in the area.
Chu Yibin made the first attempt to flee the family in his life. Instead of entering the cigarette factory under his fathers chair, he went to work in another machinery factory on the verge of bankruptcy on his own initiative, consciously trying to resist the idea that everyone thinks he will depend on a competent father in the future. After working in a mechanical factory for several months, Chu Yibin, conscious of having nothing to do, went to Yuxi Cigarette Factory.
Father Chu Shijians figure seems to have become too tall for Chu Yibin, even completely overwhelmed him. According to Zhou Hua, Father and Son look very much alike (at Yuxi Cigarette Factory). As soon as Chu Yibin speaks fully, you dont need to introduce him, you know that this is the son of Director Zhu. At that time, Chu Shijian had planned his promotion path from an ordinary worker to a team leader, Deputy workshop director, workshop director, and then to a deputy factory level.
So Chu Yibin fled again and proposed to his father to study abroad. Following Chu Shijians request to marry first, Chu Yibin left for Tokyo, Japan, to study at his own expense. Instead of asking for help from his family, he went to a restaurant to work every day, washed dishes and washed dishes, and often slept tired on the subway between school, restaurant and home. When Chu Shijian visited the tobacco company in Japan in the late 1980s, he went to his sons rental place. He was surprised by the poor environment. He lamented that Japans economy is so strong, but the living environment is so bad.
After returning from school in the early 1990s, Chu Yibin and his wife did not return to Yunnan, but chose to settle in Shenzhen and go abroad again in the future.
The Ideological Divide between Father and Son
He either doesnt know or opposes it.
From the 1990s to 2013, before he finally returned home, Chu Yibin left the country, from the United States to Canada and then to Singapore. Unlike Chu Shijian, who has been an industrialist all his life, Chu Yibin chose to rely on stock investment to solve financial problems, which may be the second rebellion in a sense.
In an interview with Business Magazine in 2016, Chu Yibin confessed that he chose stocks because of his simple idea is to support his family.
He said in an interview that he preferred value investment. The most classic one was after the 2008 financial crisis, Chu Yibin judged that either follow the world to the end, or make a big profit and directly put out 60% to 70% of the assets of Citibank precisely copy the bottom. On March 10, 2009, Citibank announced a profit of 19 billion US dollars from January to February. On that day, Citibanks stock rose 47%, which stimulated the three major US stock indexes to rise 6%. Zhu Yibin earned a high profit.
As an investor, Chu Yibin is successful. According to media reports, Singapore bankers still remember Chu Yibin as an investor, describing him as a cool shark with a rational and restrained investment style.
Chu Yibin, born in the 1960s, although many outsiders now look peaceful, is a very personal person in his heart, especially sensitive and suspicious, especially concerned about control, and unusually sensitive to risk. A person familiar with Chu Yibins comments on reporters testify to this point.
Chu Shijian, who has been engaged in industry all his life, also does not understand that his son earns money by the virtual way of stock. There are many things I do that he either doesnt know or opposes. Chu Yibin once spoke frankly to the media.
Chu Shijian gave himself a clear positioning of serving the aged in his biography of Xian Yanyun: Now the Internet is so developed, the concept of business is different, I can not play with concepts, virtual, I am engaged in industry.
The different business styles between father and son are embodied in the differences in the future management ideas of Chu Orange. One of the focuses of the differences is whether Chu Orange should be listed or not. At the end of 2014, Chu Yibin publicly told the media that his friends in the fund industry came to visit Chu Shijian in 2012 and proposed to pack Chu Orange into the market, but the old man disagreed. Chu Yibin interprets his fathers refusal to go public as two points. One is that he is old enough. The other is that Chu Shijian can not consciously bear the social responsibility after going public. As a familiar hand of capital operation, Chu Yibin himself still thinks it is only a matter of time whether to go public or not.
In 2015, Yunnan Yuxi, Chu Shijian raised his glass to support Chu Yibins Chus new election plan.
Move towards reconciliation
Chu Yibin will mention his impression of his father to the media several times in the future, which is similar to Nietzsches image of Superman: the strong in life, not controlled by weak emotions, always face challenges with a strong attitude.
After 1994, Chu Shijian was reported to be corrupt and bribery anonymously. His wife Ma Jingfen and daughter Zhu Yingqun had been imprisoned in Luoyang Prison for their involvement in exchange and resale of cigarettes respectively. In December 1995, Chu Yingqun committed suicide in prison; a year later, in December 1996, Chu Shijian began to be screened in isolation.
Wu Xiaobo, a financial and economic writer, commented on Zhu Shijians case: The phenomenon of Zhu Shijian is a mirror, reflecting the vagueness, contradiction and confusion of the legal concept and value evaluation of Chinese business circles in the transitional period.
In his later biography written by Zhou Hua, Zhu Shijian reviewed the year from 1994 to the beginning of the change with his own account, and wrote down his shame for his family: at that time, Zhu Yibin and Zhu Yingqun both experienced marital troubles, and Zhu Shijian believed that he had paid attention to his work and neglected the responsibility of his family in the past; he also thought of his son wandering in a foreign country and was a child that worried me more when he was young.
Chu Yibin was far away from home when the upheaval took place. According to Zhou Huas description, he bought his ticket several times to go back home, and his friends almost tied him up before they stopped him. Zhou Hua speculated that Chu Shijian would not agree to his sons return, fearing that the disaster would affect his family.
Back home, Chu Shijian was sentenced to life imprisonment in January 1999 and commuted in 2001. In May 2001, he was granted medical treatment on bail for severe diabetes mellitus and returned home to live and recuperate. After the storm, Chu Shijian began his second rebound in life, contracting a wasteland in Ailao Mountain and planting oranges.
Chu Yibin contacted his father. At first, he thought that his father would plant about thirty or fifty Mu casually and build a small and beautiful orchard for the aged. He did not understand Chu Shijians ambition.
According to official information from the Singapore Accounting and Business Administration (ACRA), Chu Yibin invested 50,000 Singapore dollars to establish WHIZTOYS Private Company Limited in July 2002. The registered main business is general import and export trade, involving the retail of toys, childrens clothing and childrens articles. In June 2003, WHIZTOYS invested 8.45 million yuan in Xinping Jintai Fruit Co., Ltd., where Ma Jingfen was the legal representative, and Xinping Jintai became a Sino-foreign joint venture. This commercial activity was interpreted as Chu Yibins action on the consideration of parentspension. Jintai, Xinping, was the main operator of Chu Orange later.
Time has softened the gap between father and son. In 2005, Chu Yibin returned to Yunnan with his children to visit his parents. For the first time, Chu Shijian asked his son, Would you like to come back? Chu Yibin did not answer.
Zhu Yibin came to People magazine in 2016 to explain that he was in a bad state because he invested in American stocks day and night. In addition, My personal characteristics and experience, I have seen more places than my father, and the radius of activities is bigger than my fathers. If I choose, I dont really want to do agriculture.
Until 2012. This year, the marketing plan of Zhu Orange into Beijing created by E-commerce original life sold Zhu Shijians oranges to Beijing, and was endowed with the brand spirit of Life always has ups and downs, spirit can be inherited which quickly became inspirational orange and caused a hot sale.
At the end of this year, Chu Shijian called Chu Yibin again. Im too old to run, what can you do? The 85-year-old man said to his only son on the phone, between words is a rare confession of defeat.
Chu Yibin understands. After settling up his business, he returned to Yunnan in July 2013, a place he once rejected and tried to leave because his old fathers crown was too shadowed.
Father and son from twisting to easing, Chu Yibin made many concessions, not so much to his father, but to time. A person close to Chus father and son told the Beijing News.
In 2015, Chu Shijian attended the conference with his wife.
Zhu Yibins returning to agriculture
Official succession a year ago
After returning home, Chu Yibin quickly completed the identity transformation from a skilled investor to a farmer in the field. He spent a year on Ailao Mountain, a complete stranger to fruit planting. He began to learn from the process of fruit tree planting, pruning, fertilizing, watering and so on. From the beginning, he studied the agriculture he had not wanted to do most.
Both Chu Shijian and Ma Jingfen disclosed in the interview that Chu Orange is a family business. In an interview with Southern Weekend at the end of 2014, Chu Shijian even made it clear that the future chairman will definitely be inherited by my son Chu Yibin.
But just as Chu Yibin once refused to accept his fathers plan for his life and went away, the way of inheritance Chu hoped was obviously not simply to take over -- Lets try, stretch out the edge a little, I think this is the real inheritance.
Since the picking period of Bingtang orange is only two months, Chu Yibin plans to find other kinds of suitable fruits to operate together to reduce the waste of resources during idle period. After discussing with Chus family, he has established a new company, Hengguan Teda, which acts as the legal representative and chairman of the board.
The first project he tried was Red Heart Grapefruit from Vietnam. In October 2015, Hengguan Teda announced that it would cooperate with Alibaba Man-Star Program to open Chus New Fruit Flagship Store in Tianmao to sell a new product, Red-Heart Grapefruit.
This pomelo, commonly known as Zhu Pu by the outside world, accidentally exposed the potential inheritance disputes within the Zhu family. Shortly after Chu Yibins launch meeting, Xinping Jintai Company, the main operator of Chu Orange, managed by Chu Shijians grandson-in-law, Li Yaxin, clarified at another presentation that Chu Orange had registered trademark and there was no Chu Shaddock product, and Chu Orange did not cooperate exclusively with Tiancat and Man Tianxing Plan.
Chu Yibins first attempt was also not satisfactory: more than half of the grapefruit was damaged due to uncontrolled logistics and was forced to be discarded. The final sales were not enough for freight; moreover, the local Red Heart Green Grapefruit family in Vietnam was planted by retail investors, which made it difficult to industrialize.
Chu Yibin turned to Apple. Hengguan Teda entered the orchard of Ninglang County, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, and cooperated with local fruit growers to explore the cultivation of apples. The output of plateau apple in 2016, 2017 for two consecutive years in Hengguan Teda Tianmao store Chus new selection sales.
At the ceremony of announcing the establishment of Yunnan Zhushi Fruit Industry Co., Ltd. on January 17, 2018, Zhu Yibin mentioned that the biggest feature of the new company is the shareholding system, which is a structural change compared with the previous family companies. In addition, he said that the new company mainly prepares for the acquisition of assets of Jintai Company (Xinping Jintai Company, which is supervised by Li Yaxin). The future focus will still be on Zhuorange.
Also at this ceremony, Ma Jingfen made a speech widely understood by the outside world as Zhu Yibin succeeded Zhu Yibin - Now the son has the most control, after examination, today can be regarded as inheritance.
Chu Yibin responded to reporters by text message on January 24, saying that he was too busy recently and hoped to talk about it later. Li Yaxin responded to reporters on Jan. 23 on the future cooperation between the new company and Xinping Jintai. At present, it is not very clear about this situation, Chu Lao has not yet been specifically arranged, there will be a specific way this year.
Even ignoring the issue of successors, Chu Yibin completed a long return and reconciliation to his family, father and orange. He has also been relieved that everywhere he goes is said to be Chu Shijians son; Chus newly selected shop background is a collage of Chu Yibin and Chu Shijians portraits, which gradually show similar outlines and expressions as the years go by.
After taking over, challenges remain. Chu Orange, named after Chu Shijians surname, means a heavy responsibility. Chu Yibin has mentioned in interviews more than once that he does not want his fathers brand to be destroyed in his own hands.
I think orange is more important than being a marketing symbol, that is, IP. It is supported by agricultural technology, management mode and peasant household organization mode, and then provides stable, high-quality, standardized products for the market. Zheng Lun, founder of the Internet + agricultural media field observation AgriReview, is optimistic about the future of Chu orange. He said that IP is only 1 for an enterprise, the rest of the products, management, culture constitute the absolute majority of 9, and the strength of Zhu Orange is 9, Zhu Yibin succession, as long as it can inherit the original management model, farmer organization model, agricultural technology, this 9 can be maintained. If we can inherit Mr. Chu Shijians spirit, we can make this 9 become the foundation of the industry.