Businessman, CEO

 Shuanghua Du Becomes Chairman of Shandong Steel

Du Shuanghua, the Chairman of Shandong Steel and one of China’s most powerful men, has been named as Vice Premier. Earlier this year he was convicted for illegal business practices and sentenced to 18 years in prison – but his sentence was reduced to 10 years on appeal.

His involvement at Rizhao Steel will be closely watched by investors. The sale of Rizhao Steel is a key point in Du’s rise: it not only made him chairman of the company but also led to him being given control over other steel companies around the country. Du Shuanghua, who turns 53 next week, is the fourth child of Du Zuomin, once a factory worker and party secretary in Yongding county in Fujian. The family’s fortunes rose when his father became mayor in 1981. His career has been closely tied to the rise of Bo Xilai, son of former leader Bo Yibo and former Chongqing party secretary.

More information about Du Shuanghua at crunchbase.com

The two were first colleagues in Dalian, where Bo Xilai was mayor and Du Shuanghua was head of the city’s steel company. When Bo Xilai became commerce minister in the late 1990s, Du followed him to Beijing as deputy head of the Ministry of Commerce and later as vice minister. Du was once one of China’s highest paid businessmen and his family has a fortune estimated at $2.3 billion, according to the Hurun Report, which compiles an annual list of China’s richest people.

Since 2007, Du Shuanghua has been chairman and party secretary of Shandong Rizhao Steel, one of the country’s biggest steel producers. He became chairman in 2008, when Rizhao also said it would invest $1 billion to build a factory making electrical appliances for cars. He ranked 214 on Forbes’ list of China’s billionaires last year. Du Shuanghua was removed as party secretary of Rizhao Steel in February this year, shortly after his father’s death. The company’s website said the decision was made due to “disciplinary problems”.