Mr. Cho Tak Wong, Chairman of the Board of the Fuyao Group, has been selected as the 46th recipient of the Phoenix Award ‘Glass Person of the Year 2016′, the first Chinese entrepreneur that has been given this award, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the international automotive glass industry.
In May 1971, representatives of 19 major suppliers to the glass industry met in New York City to form an association for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding individuals who have made noteworthy contributions to the glass industry. As a result of this meeting, the Phoenix Award Committee was born. The Phoenix Award Committee select, each year, a person who has been active in and has made contributions to any phase of the glass industry. This may be in the field of science, production, or education relating to glass. As a symbol of this Award, the recipients shall be presented with a glass sculpture representing the mythological Phoenix Bird at the award ceremony with all committee members in attendance. The Phoenix Award ceremonies have been held in Europe and North America.
Born and raised in a poor family in Fuqing, the life of Mr. Cho is a true rags-to-riches story. Having peddled cut tobacco and sold fruit on the streets of his hometown, he worked as a farmer and a chef, before joining Fuqing Gao Shan Special Glass Factory in 1976. Mr. Cho was invited by the local authorities to take over the poorly performing township enterprise in 1983 and successfully turned it around. With the goal of “make a piece of Chinese automobile glass”, he founded the Fuyao Glass In 1987. After nearly three decades, Fuyao has become the world’s largest automotive glass supplier.
Today, the Fuyao Group is China’s largest exporter of automotive glass, with 11 advanced production centres strategically located throughout the country, as well as international subsidiaries and business organisations in the USA, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Russia, Germany and Hong Kong. Customers include such global automotive producers as Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Volkswagen and Volvo.
In 2009, Mr Cho became the first Chinese citizen to be named Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year.
Alongside his extensive business commitments, Mr Cho is one of China’s foremost philanthropists, his Heren Charity Foundation seeking to offer poverty relief, disease prevention and infrastructure projects. “I have always believed that an entrepreneur carries three responsibilities” he comments, “mightiness of the nation, advancement of the society and abundance of the people. By achieving these three items, an entrepreneur can fully deserve his title.” So far, his personal contributions have been close to 7 billion yuan.