(BEIJING) — In a bizarre incident, one of the richest men in the world was attacked by a knife-wielding man seeking a job with his company.
Zong Qinghou, chairman of the beverage giant Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co. and China’s second richest-individual, suffered a minor injury to his hand after a knife attack last Friday outside his home in Hangzhou, according to local media reports.
Xinhua News Agency reports a 49-year-old man with the last name Yang approached Zong near his residence to inquire about the possibility of employment. Police said that after Zong declined to give the man a job, he was attacked.
Zong is well known in the business community for his frugal manner and distaste for ostentatious displays of wealth. His personal fortune is estimated to be $18.68 billion, according to the Hurun Rich List released last Wednesday. Yet, he projects a humble image. He is known to sleep in his office and eat alongside employees at the company cafeteria.
In his early years, Zong told Bloomberg News in 2012, he made no more than $8 a month.
“When you are poor, you have to think of ways to be better off,” he said.
Zong’s personal rags to riches story is famous in China. He started his company in 1987 by selling popsicles and soft drinks to school children. It grew into one of the top 500 private enterprises in China with Zong overseeing every step of expansion down to the purchase of items as specific as a new broom.
Yang was taken into custody on Friday. Zong, it was reported, is already back at work.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN