The Exile and the Entrepreneur

Just west of Beijing's Tiananmen Square, a 31-year-old entrepreneur named Wang Lichao strides into a property-management office to pick up the keys to the headquarters of his new telecommunications company. After five years of building an interior design firm, he is shifting into one of the country's hottest industries, serving as an ADSL subcontractor for China Network Communications. "There's much more money in this business because it's an emerging market," says Wang Lichao, with the easy confidence of an M.B.A., even though he has never attended college. "Just look at the growth numbers in ADSL lines in Shanghai. Beijing is next...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!