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Wuhan man building business of submarines

By Pan Zheng (Shanghai Daily)

10:23, March 13, 2012

A man in central China's Hubei Province who has invested more 3 million yuan (US$474,419) in building small submarines on his own has completed his first deal and is now trying to attract more investment to expand his buoyant business.

Zhang Wuyi, 37, a laid-off textile machinery factory worker in Wuhan, has received three orders this year, with each submarine selling for about 200,000 yuan, the Wuhan Evening News reported yesterday.

Zhang told the paper that he learned from Li Mingyu, who was honored as "the first manufacturer of a self-made submarine in China" and led Zhang into the business.

"At first I was just an onlooker, watching Li building the submarine just like watching a joke," said Zhang. But when he realized there was a great market demand for small submarines, he decided to participate.

He started by renting his original factory workshop to use as his own manufacturing base. He has about 10 employees.

Zhang's chief engineer, surnamed Li, used to work in the shipbuilding industry. He told the newspaper that he was moved by Zhang's persistence and decided to help. With Li's assistance, Zhang successfully built his first commercial submarine and sold it to Cong Zhiwen, a businessman from Dalian, a northeastern city.

Li said the submarine can dive to about 30 meters and work 10 hours a day. It can hold two people and is equipped with a mechanical arm and underwater camera.

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