Li Hejun

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Name: Li Hejun

Country: China

Education: Mechanical Engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University and Macroeconomics from the University of Cambridge. 

Type of business: Founder and Chairman of Hanergy

Main Achievements: —

Sth interesting about the person: He used to be a billionaire and lost that title after the March of 2018


Li Hejun is a Chinese businessman who was born on the 13th of August in 1967 in Heyuan in Guangdong, China. He was born in a Hakka family. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Beijing Jiaotong University in 1988. He, then, started his doctorate in Macroeconomics at the University of Cambridge in 2002. While at university, he founded Hanergy single-handedly by getting a loan of fifty thousand Chinese yuan from his university professor. He worked for almost thirty years to develop this company into a multi-national renewable energy company that dealt in hydropower, solar (thin-film) and wind power generation. With China booming on the global platform as an up and coming economy, his company proved to be one of the few. He used this opportunity to grow and expand his business.

For a decade, since the start of his company, Hejun skilfully managed and guided approximately ten thousand employees to build the Jin’anqiao Hydropower Station, which cost about twenty billion yuan. This three million kW capacity power plant was constructed on the Jinsha River in the Yunnan Province in China. It had the height of about two thousand meters and had a capacity that was 10% larger than the Gezhouba Dam in China and was also 30% larger than the Hoover Dam in the United States of America. The success of this technological and engineering marvel provided Hejun with a stepping stone that he needed to venture out into several other fields of renewable energy. It also set his name as a standard in the industry.

By 2009, Li knew that, even though hydropower was renewable, there was a better alternative. Although the world was slow to realise its importance, Hejun changed his focus quickly and took the advantage as he spent more than 50 billion yuans in acquisitions of several solar power companies from around the world, such as Germany’s Solibro Hi-Tech GmbH and Solibro Research AB, and United States’ MiaSolé, Global Solar Energy and Alta Devices. This gave his company, Hanergy, the technological edge that he needed to specialize in thin-film solar power generation. 

Li also founded several other subsidiaries that offered specialized services in the fields of solar power, wind farms and hydropower such as Hanergy Thin Film Power Group and Hanergy Solar Group Ltd. All of these subsidiaries were housed under the umbrella of the parent company called Hanergy Holding Group Ltd. In 2015, one of these subsidiaries was investigated by the Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission after the said subsidiary lost nearly $40 billion in market value. This investigation led to the suspension of the shares of Hong Kong-listed Hanergy Thin Film indefinitely. This had drastic effects on the performance of the company as well as the finical worth of the founder. According to Forbes, Hejun had a worth of $10.3 billion in 2014, $21.1 billion in 2015, $3.2 billion in 2016, $1.9 billion in 2017, and lost his billionaire label by the March of 2018. 

Despite his recent financial problems, Hejun has vast experiences in the technologies concerning the fields of power and energy. He, therefore, wrote a book called New Energy Revolution: The Power to Change China and the World in 2013. In this book, he mentioned that in the near future, given the scientific progress, the race for energy generation would not be for the resources but instead for the core technology. He also predicted that a merger between the internet and the thin film power would lead to the third industrial revolution. He equated the thin-film solar power generation with the chlorophyll that plants use for photosynthesis. 

Apart from founding Hanergy and being its chairman, Li Hejun is also the member of the 11th/12th CPPCC National Committee. He is also the member of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce’s (ACFIC) First Advisory Committee, the vice-Chairman of ACFIC’s 11th Executive Committee and the honorary president of ACFIC’s New Energy Chamber of Commerce. He has also been a part of several philanthropic endeavours. He is the first executive director-general for a fund for the prevention and treatment of AIDS called China Red Ribbon Foundation. He has also donated towards several academic, anti-poverty and anti-desertification programs in China and around the world. Currently 55 years old, Hejun is married, has one child and lives in Beijing in China.