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A Wise Man Assiduously Practices the Tao

- A New Year’s Message to Entrepreneurs Around the World

There is a line in Tao Te Ching which states that “When a wise man hears of the Tao, he assiduously practices it. When an average man hears of the Tao, he half believes and half doubts it. When a foolish man hears of the Tao, he bursts into laughter. If the foolish do not laugh at it, the Tao is not worthy of being called the Tao.” 

Over five centuries ago, the age of navigation ushered in tremendous “changes never before seen in thousands of years”. The Renaissance and industrial revolution in Europe swept over the world and reshaped human civilization. Today, the Internet has initiated another wave of “changes never before seen in thousands of years”. Desktop Internet and the mobile Internet have reinvented our way of living and thinking. As the Internet of Things, the next age of the Internet, is arriving, the ever-changing world we live in is becoming even more complex with unprecedented challenges. 

In the era opened up by the age of industrialization, the scientific management and lean management theories proposed by Frederick Winslow Taylor prevailed both at the strategic and tactical levels. In the era heralded by the Internet, innumerous thinkers, politicians and entrepreneurs are exploring a new way for themselves and for the times they live in.

Peter F. Drucker once said that there is no such a thing as success. Likewise, there are no inevitably successful enterprises – only enterprises that keep up with the times. There is no inevitably successful management model – only the management model that keeps pace with the times.

Faced with the great changes of our times, Haier has never relented in its efforts. Over the last 32 years, it has continued exploring and going its own way. In the age of the Internet, the Haier way has been the ‘RenDanHeYi’ Model. It is an original concept developed by Haier and is constantly enriched and improved over time.

Let’s look back on the journey that Haier has made over the past arduous 32 years.

1985 was a time when the supply of refrigerators couldn’t meet the demand. Haier’s decision to smash the defective refrigerators was questioned and even criticized by many. But, just look around and see how many of the hundreds of refrigerator factories in business back then, are still in business today.

In 1989, Haier participated in the Canton Fair for the first time. Few people were interested in our products, which greatly frustrated and disappointed our staff. But without that painful experience, how could Haier have turned into a global company like it is today?

In 1992, Haier intended to acquire the air-conditioning technology of Sanyo. The latter, however, refused the offer and said that they didn’t want to sell their technology. 19 years later, Haier finally acquired Sanyo’s white goods business.

In 1999, Haier began setting up factories in the US. An article in a magazine from July of that year kindly warned Haier that “No (Chinese) company has succeeded in investing in the US and Haier is doing this against great odds.” Now, 17 years have passed and Haier is doing very well in the US. 


The history of Haier over the past 32 years is a history of entrepreneurship and innovation. It is being questioned and challenged all the time. It is also full of self-disruption and resilience. Today, once again, we are in the middle of the sweeping changes of the times.

When mapping out the future of Haier, we focus on the emergence of a new ecosystem.

Haier officially announced the RenDanHeYi Win-Win Model’ on September 20th, 2005. In the past 11 years, the model has helped transform Haier into a global platform for entrepreneurship. There are only three types of people on these platforms: platform owners, microenterprise owners and entrepreneurs. Among them, entrepreneurs are the basic units of Haier and represent the soul of Haier.

2017 will be the inaugural year of the global application of the RenDanHeYi Model. It will reap rewards in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania and the benefit will be created and shared by every entrepreneur.

Great things are not accomplished in haste. If every entrepreneur, regardless of their background, location or language, takes a small step, large strides can be made for the RenDanHeYi Model.

Taking small steps is important. Guo Jing, a famous character in the Chinese novel The Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong, kept practicing and improving his capabilities step-by-step, finally becoming a master of Kung Fu. Similarly, action movie star Jackie Chan, whose Kung Fu skills improve as he continues to shoot and produce action movies, manages to do improve because there is a lot of learning and reflection involved in this process.

The same is true with the RenDanHeYi Model. The first, or the ‘ABC’ phase, is the inception of the very concept of ‘RenDanHeYi’. The second phase is to turn structure of the organization into that of an inverted pyramid. The third phase features the transformation into a self-organized enterprise. The fourth phase is about breaking the organization into microenterprises. And the most recent phase is turning the organization into a community-based ecosystem.

Going beyond the known and familiar is how we can learn new truths. The evolution of the RenDanHeYi Model can be described in the words of Mr. Fei Xiongtong: “We cherish what is beautiful to ourselves, and we also cherish what is beautiful to others. Beauty in diversity makes the world a place of harmony.” A slight difference here is that the global entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship platform of Haier represent a diverse RenDanHeYi Model.

All these efforts will finally lead to the emergence of an ecosystem. Focusing on the ‘smart home’ was enabled by the RenDanHeYi Model and realized through the ignition of microenterprises; it aims at becoming a community-based ecosystem ignited by the Internet of Things.

 A journey of a thousand miles cannot be completed without every single step. Entrepreneurs around the world, please take steps forward and advance with the RenDanHeYi Model towards success.

Time and tide wait for no man. Entrepreneurs around the world, please continue to pursue excellence and act in accordance with the RenDanHeYi Model and achieve brilliance.

Haier is only as smart as its entrepreneurs. Haier is only as prosperous as its entrepreneurs. Haier is only as strong as its entrepreneurs. Haier is also as progressive as its entrepreneurs.

Rise, Haier entrepreneurs!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Zhang Ruimin

Haier Global