A Lebanese man with the Chinese name Li Tianming has become a successful textile entrepreneur in east China's Zhejiang province.
"I have always wanted to be a rich man who builds his own fortune through hard work, especially after I just graduated from the university as a poor student," recalled Li, a sports enthusiast.
Now, the 30-year-old is head of a textile company and a 2,800-square-meter workshop that manufactures outdoor fabrics products at Asia's largest textile distribution center in Keqiao district, Shaoxing city, Zhejiang. His products now see strong sales in over 10 countries and regions.
However, last year, overseas orders for Li's products were severely impacted due to the COVID-19 epidemic. When other enterprises in the center decided to downsize staff to stay afloat, Li decided to turn the crisis into an opportunity for transformation, developing new products and shifting his business focus to the domestic market.
Last year, a ski suit independently designed by Li's team hit the market and started to see good sales from November 2020. Talking about this, Li said that the epidemic made him realize the importance of adapting to changing situations.
Li's achievements did not come easily. When he arrived in China to study at Shaoxing University in 2006, he had to take on a part-time job helping global customers purchase textile products at Keqiao in order to support himself.
"I used to scout the textile hub in order to secure the most cost-efficient fabric," the man recalled, adding that he faced a variety of difficulties, including a lack of familiarity with the textile industry and also the language barrier.
He revealed that the local commerce and industry department offered assistance to him, shortening the time required for starting a business from one year to three months.
Li, who can now speak Chinese fluently, has not only made a successful career for himself, but also felt the charm of Chinese culture, saying that Chinese people showed solidarity and helped each other when faced with the epidemic. Inspired by them, he volunteered to take residents' body temperatures in his community and distribute masks to those in need in the early period of the outbreak.