The Success of SF Express on the Chinese Market


As China piles on the entrepreneurial miracles, companies like SF Express become commonplace. It is almost as if the Asian giant has a magician’s wand.

Since 1993, the company has acquired over 340,000 employees, 16,000 vehicles, 12,000 service centres, 31 cargo aircraft and its own airline that it more than that.

So what then is its founder Wang Wei’s recipe for success, and where does he believe most credit for SF Express lies?

The Core Values of the Inner Man

According to media reports, 44-year-old Wang Wei is a ‘peaceful Buddhist’, although this does not hold him back from being aggressive in the marketplace. Internally, his one-third million SF Express employees know him as an idealist with a strong sense of social responsibility, and deep respect for them. What a man. What an example to follow!

The Remarkable Beginnings of SF Express

After graduating from Hong Kong high school in 1993, Wang Wei found himself without a job. He filled the idle hours doing free deliveries to and from Shanghai for friends. In time, he came to see potential for a brand, and raised US$12,900 from five friends and his schoolteacher dad to kick-start it. He undercut prevailing rates by more than 40%. This enabled SF Express to secure 70% of courier business between the two great cities.

Wang Wei to Multi-Millionaire in 3 Years

Within three years, the 25-year-old became a multi-millionaire with everything he needed for the high life, yet strangely, he felt unfulfilled. Wang Wei credits his wife with ‘bringing him down a notch when he became too pleased with himself’, and redirecting his restless energy towards Buddhism, where he learned peace with his inner self and the ability to share with others.

SF Express and Entrepreneurial Genius

In 2005, Wang Wei took a gamble in the face of smaller players trying to follow his initial business model. He mortgaged his company and purchased the first five airplanes in the China courier business. Since then he has not ceased innovating. When he finally takes SF Express public with an IPO, I wonder what the remarkable man will do with all the money.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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