Disabled man “stands up” with help of e-commerce

(People's Daily Online) 16:59, January 19, 2023

By leveraging the strength of e-commerce, Zhang Yonghong, a 43-year-old disabled man in southwest China's Chongqing, has not only started his own business, but also helped fellow villagers embark on a journey to prosperity.

Zhang Yonghong gives an employee instructions on packaging. (People's Daily Online/Liu Zhengning)

In 2005, Zhang's cervical spine was injured by a rock. Since then, he has suffered from paraplegia, which tormented him for over six years. During that period, he filed for divorce with his wife in order to alleviate her burden, and became hopelessly depressed. In 2011, a piece of news about a man who sold local agricultural products to finance his son's medical treatment inspired him to start his own business.

In 2012, Zhang started selling local products from Hailuo village, Wulong district in Chongqing, his hometown, on Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Weibo. Initially, his products didn't sell well, but his fortunes were reversed when some internet celebrities reposted his business. Over the following two years, his online shop evolved into an e-commerce company. 

Zhang Yonghong prints an order list in his office. (People's Daily Online/Liu Zhengning)

As his business continued to grow, he began to help other people with disabilities by giving them job opportunities. 15 out of 20 employees in his company are disabled.

Staff members in Zhang Yonghong's company pack products. (People's Daily Online/Liu Zhengning)

Besides helping people with disabilities, providing job opportunities, and buying products from his fellow villagers, Zhang also donates baby chicks and piglets to his neighbors who have financial difficulties or physical impairments. When these animals grow up, he buys them back at 10 percent above market price.

Photo shows smoked meat stored in Zhang Yonghong's warehouse. (People's Daily Online/Liu Zhengning)

In 2022, his company registered an annual sales volume of over 23 million yuan, not only boosting the sales of agricultural products from his village and 10 neighboring towns and villages, but also benefiting over 1,300 families.

"Although my legs are handicapped, I can stand up mentally,"said Zhang. "Being a man means you should be grateful to all the people who have helped you. Millions of internet users have given me love and strength to help me 'stand up'. In the future, I will deliver the same love to motivate people who have trouble 'standing up'." 


(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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