The Ohio General Motors factory that was acquired by Chinese investor Cao Dewang is the subject of the Obama-produced documentary American Factory, which makes its Netflix debut on August 21.
The Sundance Festival’s highly praised documentary explores the cultural clash between Chinese and American laborers. This actual case of how industrialization and globalization collide centers on Fuyao Group Chairman Cao. He is thought to have a net worth of $2.0 billion as a result of his enormous business success in 2019. And right here, we’ve outlined how he oversees his enormous money.
Cao Dewang is a native of The Fujian Province of China
Cao Dewang or Cho Tak Wong, of the Cao/Cho family, was born in Shanghai in May 1946. In the Fujian province of China, his family is reputed to have high social standing.
But a luxurious lifestyle wasn’t a given just because of his familial background. Cao spent his formative years battling to make ends meet in Fujian after his family’s valuables were taken there shortly before the Communist takeover of Shanghai.
Cao claimed that his father had packed up all of their belongings before they left for home, while the rest of the family had taken a different boat to Fujian. Cao and his family made it to their village, but the boat that was supposed to bring all of their belongings and money never made it.
The family farm became their only source of income after they lost their money. Cao toiled away on his family’s farm, going without food on numerous occasions.
He left school at the age of 14 and started working to help support his family. Nevertheless, he used a dictionary to teach himself over a thousand Chinese characters.
Cao, being the enterprising man he was, started selling fruit and tobacco leaves to make a livelihood. In addition, he mended bicycles and worked as a cook. He put in 16 hours a day for more than 20 years to get out of poverty.
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The Glass Factory Cao Worked For Was Purchased
At a glass factory owned and operated by the local government for glass used in water meters, Cao Dewang was employed as the sales manager. He saved his money until he had enough in 1983 to purchase the factory itself.
In the 1980s, Japanese automakers sought to establish the production of their vehicles in China. Cao recognized the chance and jumped right into the manufacture of automotive glass, founding the Yaohua Automotive Glass Co. in 1987. His firm was greatly helped by the ensuing Chinese Economic Reforms.
Before it was listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 1993 and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2015, the now-named Fuyao Group was a joint venture firm. One of the biggest producers of vehicle glass worldwide right now, with headquarters in Fuqing, Fujian.
It is involved in the production of construction glass, automobile glass, and float glass. Among Fuyao’s top clients are Audi, Fiat, Ford, Honda, and Nissan.
Fuyao’s chairman of the board is now Cao, while the CEO is his eldest son. While his younger son has his own private company, his daughter works in the finance of charitable projects.
Over time, Cao’s net worth has increased significantly. According to Forbes, as of 2019, he is ranked #114 on China’s Rich List and #1057 among the world’s billionaires.
A socially concerned businessman, Cao believes one of the obligations of an entrepreneur is to support the economy of the country. He does support the industry as a member of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference from Fujian, the chairman of the China Automobile Glass Association, former VP of the China Guangcai Business Promotion Association, and an executive vice president of the China Overseas Investment Enterprise Association.
Cho’s Fuyao Group Took over a General Motors Plant in Ohio
The Fuyao Group had been exploring potential locations for an industrial presence in the United States since 2013. In 2014, the giant of glass manufacturing chose the location of a defunct GM assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio.
Cao became the largest Chinese investor in the United States that year with an initial investment of roughly $200.0 million to establish an auto glass manufacturing facility at the former GM factory. To establish its U.S. operations, Fuyao had committed $1.0 billion as of October 2016.
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, a 2009 documentary by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, was the first to examine the GM workers losing their employment and the economic repercussions on the community.
In their most recent documentary, American Factory, they went back to the plant to chronicle the subsequent cultural transformation.
This Sundance-winning documentary features former American president Barack Obama as a producer. American Factory is a serious Oscar candidate because it depicts the union of Chinese tech employees and the American working class that came about as a result of the opening of this factory.
China’s Most Generous Philanthropist Is Cao Dewang
Cao is praised as China’s most giving philanthropist, despite his economic accomplishments for his nation. Inspired by American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Cao believes, “The more I donate, the more I realize how little need I have for money.” He continues by saying that it would be better to invest his riches towards children’s education.
He founded the Heren Foundation and gave shares of Fuyao valued at more than $300.0 million to the organization. Cao has reportedly donated more than $1.3 billion of his money to charitable organizations.
Some of his contributions include $50.0 million for the drought in Southwest China and the Yushu earthquake victims, $3.3 million for the foundation of the Heren Charity Academy at Nanjing University, and $3.3 million for the Sichuan earthquake disaster relief.