Weichai powers on

CEO Tan Xuguang on the rebirth of a loss-making SOE.

Shandong province's Weifang is a modest city - by Chinese standards - of a mere eight million inhabitants. It's rather less pleasant than the seaside city of Qingdao, some 90 miles further east.

Further inland than the port city, the late-August weather is muggy and overcast. Half the city looks as if it was built in the last six months, and the other half looks as if it hasn't had a lick of paint since the Party took over in 1959.

Slashed through with a major new highway, Weifang's city centre doesn't really feel like one. The hustle and bustle of other city centres is absent, and...

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