Small businessman's Chinese Dream

Updated: 2014-11-16 06:49


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Lai Zhangping first hit the headlines two years ago. The public thought he was crazy to give up an engineering job with a monthly salary of 5,000 yuan ($815) and start a small grilled pig trotter business in the college area of Songjiang district, Shanghai.

In the eyes of his friends, Lai is now a successful entrepreneur with a monthly profit of 40,000 yuan ($6,525). He usually sells about 800 grilled pig trotters a day for 8 yuan each and says he plans to open a second branch in Beijing.

One of the secrets to Lai's success is the Internet. Of the meals he has sold, about two-thirds have been ordered online via instant messaging service WeChat and group-buying websites.

Lai was born into a rural family and started work as an engineer in 2008 after graduating from university with a Bachelor of Science degree. He said he couldn't afford a shop until being granted zero-loans by the government that help college students launch businesses.

The photos were taken in Shanghai on Nov 5, 2014.

Small businessman's Chinese Dream

A customer waits to sample one of Lai Zhangping's grilled pig trotters.  [CFP]

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