Du Shuanghua was born in Hengshui City, inside the Hebei province of China. He began life in poverty, but would go on to graduate from college receiving a degree in economics. Over a short span of time Du would be recognized as one of China’s most successful businessmen trading in the steel industry. Shuanghua founded Rizhao Steel Group in 2003. Strategically located in the Shandong Province, Rizhao city provides direct access to raw materials and is one of China’s most important seaports. After 4 years of very successful operations, RSG signed a 15-year agreement with the Mount Gibson company in 2007.
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By 2009, a state-owned competitor named Shandong Iron & Steel Group (SISG) targeted Rizhao Steel for acquisition. In the initial agreement between Rizhao Steel and SISG, both companies were to merge and restructure. Instead Shandong Iron & Steel purchased a 67% ownership stake in Rizhao Steel. Du Shuanghua tried blocking the hostile takeover, attempting to sell off a 30% stake in equity to Kai Yuan Holdings. KYH, a Hong Kong-based business is linked to relatives of President Hu Jintao and was not able to make the purchase for political reasons. Eventually in 2010, Du sold his 33% stake to Shandong Iron & Steel giving up full ownership to SISG. Du Shuanghua made news around the world after the sale. Rizhao Steel Group was reportedly sold for approximately $800M to $1B USD.
Shuanghua took calculated risks without hesitation, making difficult choices to achieve results. Du Shuanghua is currently listed by Forbes as worth $1.3 Billion USD, making him one of the richest men not in just China but the world. He is also generous, helping children through his philanthropic work. After the Wenchuan Earthquake, Du discreetly contributed over 20 million dollars in donations. Shuanghua made a lasting impact history of steelmaking, the strength of China’s economy, and its future as a whole.