Getting Rich

2006, Economics  -  53 min Leave a Comment
Rating from 1 user
Report Documentary


3 min read

It is one of the most extraordinary transformations of our time - China. A country long in the grip of communism is now devoted to private enterprise. That is what they had to do for the ordinary people of China to become richer. This new economic superpower is taking on the West. But China's surging economy has a dark side. Can China keep moving forward or will the forces of change tear it apart?

The city of Chongqing is a sprawling metropolis of seven million people. It's the scene of one of the latest chapters in China's remarkable economic rise. Back in the 1980's China's communist party decided to permit the return of private enterprise. In cities along the coast thousands of new factories sprung up fueling an economic boom. Now, China's trying to extent that boom to the interior of the country to places like Chongqing. The government is pouring in money to improve and modernize the city.

Chongqing today is a city on the move; a place where if you're smart enough and tough enough, you can get rich. Like the man who lives there, secluded high above the city. His name is Zuo Zongshen. Zuo is one of the richest men in China. He's a charter member of China's new business elite. A self-made man with a powerful will to succeed.

His family and he were ordinary people. In the eyes of Westerners they would have been considered very poor. When he had the opportunity he cherished it and worked hard. When China's leaders allowed the return of private enterprise Zuo was ready to make his move. His home is a monument to his success. Zuo's palatial estate is tended by a private staff of more than sixty. The interior of his sprawling mansion recalls the splendor of old Europe. On his manicured grounds he keeps black swans and an assortment of animals. English thoroughbreds and Zuo's special passion, a collection of pedigree dogs housed in kennels kept immaculately clean.

For most of the year Zuo lives there alone. His wife works for him in the United States where she lives with their young son. That way he has more time to work because he's by himself and he has nothing to worry about. At night he has a lot of time for work. He works on Sundays too. Work has become a habit for him.