Xi's China: Why entrepreneurs feel like second-class citizens

Chinese millionaire Liu Chonghua at one of his castles outside Chongqing. When sales at his chain of bakeries began to fall, leaving him short of funds, Mr Liu felt a kind of "formless pressure". More entrepreneurs in China feel that President Xi Jin
Chinese millionaire Liu Chonghua at one of his castles outside Chongqing. When sales at his chain of bakeries began to fall, leaving him short of funds, Mr Liu felt a kind of "formless pressure". More entrepreneurs in China feel that President Xi Jinping's strategy to place state-owned firms at the heart of the economy is weighing down the private sector, which has been responsible for a large part of the country's dynamism of the last four decades.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

CHONGQING • Born into extreme poverty in rural China, Liu Chonghua amassed enough wealth selling cakes to the country's emerging middle class to build himself six European-style castles.

Five are tourist attractions, but the grandest of all was designed as a home: A grey stone structure resembling Britain's Windsor Castle, built on land the 65-year-old entrepreneur acquired from the government of the south-western city of Chongqing in the 1990s.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2019, with the headline 'Xi's China: Why entrepreneurs feel like second-class citizens'. Print Edition | Subscribe