For a Kinder, Gentler Society
China's Emergence

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Wang Chuanfu is all work and no play – and proud of it.

He says his punishing seven-days-a-week schedule is par for the course in China. “Maybe in the Western world, life is number one and work is number two,” he says one bright Saturday morning at the bustling headquarters of BYD, his battery-cum-car ompany in Shenzhen. “But in China, work is number one and life is number two,” he adds. “Especially in my generation. I don’t know if the next generation will be the same. I enjoy working very much, if you ask me to go sightseeing for a day I probably wouldn’t enjoy it.”

In the rare moments when not at the office, Mr Wang lives in a modest penthouse flat in the “workers’ village” with his wife and daughter.

Mr Wang spurns the trappings enjoyed by many of his western peers, such as corporate jets and expensive clothes.

He does, however, own three Mercedes-Benz cars and a Lexus, which he says he owns because he likes to take them apart to figure out how they work. He also wears an Adidas watch, which displays the time of different cities so that he knows whether it is day or night in BYD’s overseas offices.

The Quiet Man of Cars
By John Reed and Patti Waldmeir
Financial Time, Wednesday, 05 November 200