Xu Shaoyong

Xu Shaoyong
Media
Image
A portrait of Xu Shaoyong smiling for the camera and standing in front of a white background.

Xu Shaoyong in 2049.

Birth name

Xu Shaoyong (徐邵雍)

Born

August 29th 1997 (age 52) in Beijing, China

Nationality

Chinese

Occupation

Business magnate, investor

Known for

Founder and executive chair of Zhupao

Net worth

¥6.45 trillion as of September 2049

Affiliation

Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

Spouse

Zhenxi Hai (2042 - present)

Children

Xu Xuejing (born 2044)

Xu Shaoyong (徐邵雍, born August 29th 1997) is a Chinese business magnate, investor, politician, philanthropist, and the founder and executive chair of the Chinese technology conglomerate Zhupao. With a net worth of ¥6.45 trillion, he is the wealthiest person in the world.

Born and raised in Beijing, Xu started working at Pinduoduo in 2020, eventually supervising several rural outreach and contactless delivery initiatives. He left in 2024 to found Zhupao as a system integration company focused on Drupal, later expanding it to become one of China’s foremost providers of cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, and neural colloids.

In 2040, Xu entered Zhupao into a cooperation strategy with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to modernise China’s healthcare system and create an international biosecurity network in the wake of the CMD pandemic. This resulted in the development of G6 and made Xu into a global ambassador for Chinese business and technology. He is often referred to as China’s paramount leader, which has put him at odds with CCP General Secretary Mao Bo.

Early life and education

Xu Shaoyong was born in Beijing, China on August 29th 1997 as the youngest of two sons. His father, Xu Jiahai, is a prominent economist and his mother, Wei Yiqin, was a salesperson at a department store. He gained a bachelor’s degree in Arts from the Beijing Forestry University‘s (BFU) School of Foreign Languages in 2018. Through the BFU’s partnership with Birkbeck University, Xu travelled to London City to complete a two-year postgraduate programme in Intercultural Communication for Business and Professions. In his spare time, he taught himself how to design websites, first using Wordpress and later switching to Drupal.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in the United Kingdom in early 2020, Xu’s parents urged him to return home. Xu stayed in London City because of a romantic relationship with Amy Parker, one of his classmates at Birkbeck University, as well as accounts he had heard of international students who had been refused at airports, numerous flight cancellations, and strict self-quarantine policies. [1] Once Birkbeck University moved all classes to its online platform, Xu managed to board a repatriation flight destined for Tokyo, Japan and travel back to Beijing from there. After completing an alternative assessment, he finished his postgraduate programme in June 2020.

Business career

Pinduoduo

In September 2020, Xu entered a Pinduoduo hiring round at the urging of a friend working as a technical engineer on the company’s mobile platform. He applied for a marketing position, but was instead offered to join the support team for Duo Duo University, a programme created in 2019 to provide training sessions to farmers in Yunnan province selling their products directly on Pinduoduo. Xu moved to Shanghai and helped design courses in e-commerce, finance, business operations, and digital marketing.

In 2021, Xu took part in a company-wide effort to expand Pinduoduo’s online retail programmes, which were struggling to compete with JD.com‘s service centres in China’s rural areas. These centres provided technologies such as drones to minimise interaction between couriers and users during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Xu devised a range of contactless shipping strategies and suggested tweaks to Pinduoduo’s distribution algorithms in order to maximise the company’s logistics capabilities and guarantee same-day deliveries.

Drupal community

In addition to his Pinduoduo work, Xu continued designing and programming websites using Drupal, often creating websites for his friends. He found that Drupal’s adoption in China was limited, owing to outdated and scattered documentation as well as the lack of a centralised content management system (CMS). With English as the primary language on the Drupal platform, Xu made use of its multilingual capabilities to translate his contributions and those of other developers to Chinese.

After attending an annual Drupal camp in Shanghai in March 2022, Xu and three other like-minded developers created Zhupao, a custom distribution of Drupal consisting of a packaged core with additional modules, libraries, and full Chinese documentation. The name was derived from zhū pǎo (猪跑, the pig runs), which sounds similar to the pronunciation of Drupal. Zhupao became a popular distribution for Chinese Drupal projects, with a community of several thousand developers and contributors by the end of 2022. Drupal’s founder and lead developer Dries Buytaert visited Shanghai in March 2023 to attend that year’s Drupal camp and meet with Xu.

Zhupao

Founding

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The Zhupao logo, depicting the profile of a smiling piglet's head above the word Zhupao in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

The Zhupao logo.

In February 2024, Xu left Pinduoduo and founded Zhupao as a limited company focused on Drupal-oriented system integration solutions. He relied on Chinese venture capital, including a ¥10 million angel investment from entrepreneur Duan Yongping, as well as strategic partnerships with the China International Electronic Commerce Centre (CIECC) and Chinese state-supported ventures. With these investments accounting for 52% of Zhupao’s shareholder structure under a mixed-ownership model, Xu offered a further 23% of shares to the State Development and Investment Corporation (SDIC) and issued 15% as part of an employee stock ownership plan.

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An image of Zōng, Zhupao's digital mascot representing the happy face of a smiling piglet.

Zōng has become one of the most popular and instantly recognisable pop culture icons in the world.

Giving himself the title of chief executive officer (CEO) and taking a 10% stake in his own name, Xu rented office space in Shanghai and recruited developers from the Zhupao community to create business-agile Drupal solutions across all major platforms. In January 2025, Xu noticed that many clients who licensed Zhupao’s customisable artificial intelligence (AI) assistant chose to retain its default consumer-facing avatar of a smiling piglet. To capitalise on its popularity, he adopted this avatar as Zhupao’s official mascot, naming it Zōng (豵, pigling) and encouraging its front end use with discounted licensing prices. [2] In 2028, the original designer of the avatar asked Xu for a share of Zōng’s licensing fees, which led to their dismissal. [3]

Expansion

After posting revenues surpassing ¥150 million in February 2026, Xu created a second Zhupao development centre and cloud computing division in Beijing. When Pinduoduo licensed the use of Zhupao’s AI assistant to capitalise on Zōng’s growing popularity, Xu took on his former employer as a client to integrate augmented reality (AR) applications into its social media platform. During Zhupao’s 2027 earnings call, Xu launched Zhupay (猪付), a digital wallet and payment service, and announced Zhupao’s first two acquisitions: Apprise, a Hangzhou-based AI and deep learning company, and Sanial, a Beijing startup specialising in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs).

In September 2028, Xu finalised a months-long negotiation with Pinduoduo CEO Chen Lei. With his company unable to turn a profit due to an excessive burn rate and the market dominance of Alibaba Group, Chen agreed to establish Pinduoduo as an e-commerce division of Zhupao to benefit from its brand recognition and information technology (IT). When the deal was officially approved as a merger by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), Xu transitioned to the role of Zhupao’s executive chair while installing Chen as CEO, which had been part of their agreement. During 2030’s earnings call, Xu announced the successful completion of an initiative to power all Zhupao data centres and server hubs using only renewable energy sources. He also committed to a moratorium on licensing Zhupao technology out to clients in the oil and gas industry.

In February 2031, Xu declared his intention to take Zhupao public with an initial public offering (IPO) on the STAR Market, a bourse for technology companies on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). This came after the ban on new IPOs on the SSE, put in place during the Second Sino-Indian War, was lifted on February 23rd 2031. Xu proclaimed this to be a “sign of serendipity” due to 2031 being the Chinese Year of the Pig and launched an IPO promotion campaign with Zōng at the centre, ultimately raising over ¥300 billion for a 5% stake in the company. On completion, the full market value was exercised, becoming the largest IPO on the SSE and making Zhupao one of the most valuable technology companies in the world. Xu’s net worth increased to ¥60 billion based on his share ownership. [4]

Investments

In March 2032, Xu launched Zhupao Campus as a private technology incubator, investing ¥15 billion of his net worth to support candidate ventures. In the first round of investments, Xu graduated five startups to Zhupao Campus, including DebteraPharma, Triaxa Health, and Endoptic, a Borneo-based neurotechnology company starting human trials for its implantable multielectrode array (MEA) designs.

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A photo of Efua Amankwah-Crouse. She's talking with a microphone on a TED stage and looking to the audience, smiling.

AI researcher Efua Amankwah-Crouse, pictured in 2033.

As part of a second round of Zhupao Campus investments in 2034, Xu reached out to Efua Amankwah-Crouse, an AI researcher who had succeeded in creating a TensorFlow build of the Pacotti architecture for differentiable neural computers (DNCs). [5] From a widely publicised paper co-authored by Amankwah-Crouse in 2033, Xu had learned of this DNC design as a computationally inexpensive method for training AI models with an almost negligible environmental impact. [6] He asked Amankwah-Crouse to join Zhupao so that she could make use of its IT infrastructure to test her DNC design at scale and create Drupal-based UIs for its implementation.

When Amankwah-Crouse accepted, Xu assembled an internal team of researchers and developers under her leadership and created an AI innovation centre in the Shard in London City. After inference tests showed that the Pacotti architecture would reduce corresponding CO2 emissions by 70%, Xu started an initiative to switch all of Zhupao’s AI and data services over to Amankwah-Crouse’s DNC design, later releasing it under an open-source license at her encouragement. He also signed an open letter to promote its adoption as an international standard by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). [7]

In July 2034, Xu was faced with calls to pull Zhupao’s support for Endoptic after it was reported that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Huawei had been testing early designs of implantable MEAs on detainees in the Xinjiang concentration camps, resulting in numerous cases of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD). In a joint statement with Endoptic founder and CEO Spencer Hagen, Xu claimed that Endoptic had no involvement with the CCP’s activities in the camps. He stated that Endoptic only worked with consenting human volunteers for their trials with MEAs, which were manufactured using flexible artificial pseudoplastic (FLAPP) nanomaterials that specifically avoid blocking capillaries in the brain, leading to CSVD.

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Xu Shaoyong is sitting down and smiling at the audience while preparing to inject himself with a neural colloid as a demonstration of the technology's safety and convenience.

Spencer Hagen (left) and Xu Shaoyong (right) demonstrating the safety and convenience of a neural colloid injection in 2036.

In October 2036, Xu and Hagen incorporated Endoptic as a subsidiary of Zhupao after merging it with Sanial. During a livestreamed conference on October 25th 2036, Xu and Hagen unveiled the first neural colloid as a new class of implantable MEAs and “the biggest paradigm shift in consumer technology since smartphones.” [8] To demonstrate their effectiveness and ease-of-use, Xu personally injected a colloid while on stage and stated that it would take about 30 minutes for the colloid’s electrodes to migrate to his brain and ping a connection. Once they did, Xu was able to display a live montage of his cerebral cortex, claiming that the audience was “witnessing [his] consciousness down to the level of individual neurons.”

On January 17th 2037, Endoptic’s colloid design was approved by the SAMR as a Class I implantable medical device (IMD) for “safe and effective routine administration.” On January 20th 2037, Xu entered Zhupao into a partnership with Tencent to manufacture colloids for the company’s virtual reality (VR) products. During the fifth plenary session of the 16th National People’s Congress (NPC) in March 2037, Xu submitted a proposal to deploy colloids as part of established medical neurostimulation treatments.

In May 2037, Xu was notified that the SAMR had reclassified colloids as a Class III IMD, designating them “high-risk IMDs that pose potential risks to the human body.” As a result, Xu’s proposal to the NPC lost support, Tencent ended its partnership with Zhupao, and most of the pending IMD approvals from international regulatory agencies were adjusted or suspended. When the SAMR fast-tracked a line of implantable MEAs developed by Huawei as a Class I IMD on May 23rd 2037, Xu accused the CCP of “favouritism,” claiming that it was misusing the SAMR classification process to give Huawei’s MEA design a competitive edge over Endoptic’s colloids. After a conversation with Chen, Xu also suspected Huawei of having obtained the proprietary specifications for FLAPP nanomaterials from the SAMR in order to reverse engineer them for its own line of MEAs. [9]

In November 2037, the CCP signed an agreement with Huawei as part of an initiative to introduce the company’s MEAs to national sectors reliant on recording and stimulating neural activity for the purposes of managing workflows, increasing efficiency, and monitoring mental health and loyalty. When the first rollout of Huawei MEAs got underway for state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and factories, public transport operators, and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in January 2038, Xu repeated his accusations against the CCP and hinted at legal action against Huawei for “intellectual property theft.” Subsequent to this, the CCP Beijing Xicheng District Committee, where Xu’s Party membership was registered, expelled him as a standing member on January 12th 2038 and placed him on a one-year probation, stating that he had “lost his Party spirit.”

Development of G6

In June 2038, colloids were approved by the Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) as a Class II IMD in a surprise ruling attributed to long-standing tensions between Huawei and Canada. Between July 2038 and May 2039, Zhupao worked with select physicians and hospitals across Canada to apply colloids to the neurostimulative diagnosis and treatment of various neurological disorders. Following the shutdown of Neuralink after it was linked to the spread of Cariappa-Muren disease (CMD) in the United States (US), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revisited its own IMD approval process for colloids in November 2039. On December 8th 2039, Xu announced an agreement between Zhupao and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to manufacture and supply diagnostic colloids for the WHO’s contact tracing efforts to contain the CMD pandemic. In the press briefing, Xu credited Hagen with spearheading the development of the diagnostic colloids, which were equipped with chemical nanosensors to detect CMD-related breakdown products in brain tissue. [10]

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A photo of Zhupao executive chair Xu Shaoyong giving a press conference in 2040.

Xu Shaoyong denouncing the CCP’s handling of the CMD pandemic during a Zhupao press conference in 2040.

On March 30th 2040, Xu criticised the CCP for its treatment of epidemiologist Sunil Cariappa, who was in Beijing to assist the National Health Commission (NHC) in charting the spread of CMD. On April 3rd 2040, Xu hosted a press event alongside Cariappa at Zhupao’s Shanghai headquarters, accusing the CCP of covering up its failings in addressing the CMD pandemic and leveraging Cariappa’s name recognition to “present China’s surveillance apparatus inside the wrapping of a necessary tool for biosecurity.” To dispel rumours that he was infected with CMD, Xu injected a diagnostic colloid at the start of his speech and showed a negative result 22 minutes later.

On April 7th 2040, former CCP General Secretary Chen Baoqiang accused Xu of “inciting subversion of state power” and ordered the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) to start an investigation for “violations of law and discipline.” On April 12th 2040, the CCDI declined to file a case against Xu owing to a concession between members of the CCP’s Politburo as part of an internal power struggle. [11]

On May 3rd 2040, Xu entered Zhupao into a cooperation strategy being drawn up between the CCP and the WHO to “strengthen the national healthcare system, ensure that quality health services are delivered to the people, and enrich China’s contribution to global health and biosecurity.” [12] On May 7th 2040, Xu organised a conference to officially unveil GPHIN 2.0 as “a new WHO-endorsed network for biosecurity, health informatics, and IMDs,” and introduce Hagen, Cariappa, and Amankwah-Crouse as the team leads of the project. On September 3rd 2040, Xu presented the first GPHIN 2.0 testbed to an audience of officials from the CCP, the WHO, and the ITU as a modular AI-driven infranet developed using Zhupao’s colloids, DNCs, and IT solutions.

On September 23rd 2040, Xu revealed a new line of colloids developed by Endoptic that were being administered to Chinese citizens as part of a series of pilot programmes to introduce GPHIN 2.0 to Guangdong, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Zhejiang provinces. Xu injected one of the colloids himself and explained that their individual electrodes contained the necessary hardware to support both CMD-specific diagnostic sensors and a means of neurometric identification based on the CEREBRE protocol. [13] After a second negative CMD diagnosis, Xu linked his colloid to his Zhupay account to demonstrate the safety and potential of neurometrics for the purposes of user authentication.

On October 31st 2040, the NHC declared the GPHIN 2.0 pilot programmes a success, with the CCP announcing its intention to roll out the network under the name mìngyùn for all its territories and special economic zones (SEZs). In November 2040, Xu’s net worth surpassed ¥1 trillion. On December 1st 2040, Xu announced the construction of Zhupao’s new headquarters in Shanghai and purchased the Shard to serve as the company’s European headquarters in London City.

Data leak

After the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution ES-13/6 on February 11th 2041, Xu joined a working group set up by the WHO and proposed the name Global Secure Information Exchange System and acronym G6 to designate mìngyùn outside of China. As an increasing number of United Nations (UN) member states ratified G6-centric referendums and electoral campaigns in the spring and summer of 2041, Xu reorganised Zhupao’s IT licensing tiers into a dedicated opt-in platform model. By the end of 2042, over 400 countries, corporations, and organisations along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had licensed one or more G6 access tiers.

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A photo of the Zhupao tower taken in the afternoon from across Huangpu River in central Shanghai, with its holographic projection of Zōng smiling in the skyline.

Zhupao’s headquarters in Shanghai, China, casting its iconic animated hologram of Zōng into the sky.

In July 2043, Xu officially opened Zhupao’s new headquarters in Shanghai with a ceremony that included the activation of the building’s animated holographic projection of Zōng. In April 2044, Xu announced a joint venture between Zhupao and SpaceX for a series of Interplanetary Transport System (ITS) missions with a twofold purpose: to deliver a constellation of 294 comsats to create a G6-compatible high-bandwidth communications system, and to “clean up space” by removing defunct human-made objects from Earth orbit following every comsat delivery. As part of a publicity stunt to inaugurate the joint venture, Xu took part in the first ITS delivery launch on May 30th 2044 and completed an orbital spaceflight, describing it as “one of the most exhilarating experiences of [his] life.”

On October 10th 2045, Xu ordered an internal Zhupao investigation to identify a whistleblower who had breached Zhupao’s corporate network and leaked proprietary data to the public. The data revealed that G6 had been heavily retrofitted with quantum neural networks (QNNs) between October 2040 and June 2041, which had not been disclosed to the public. On October 13th 2045, Xu responded by claiming the QNN retrofits were “imperative, given the amount of data that G6 is meant to process,” and that contracting Cengal to engineer the retrofits had been necessary to “fill the void” of Cariappa and Amankwah-Crouse having departed the G6 project in September 2040.

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Tony Hsiung and Xu Shaoyong speaking at a press conference to celebrate the public launch of Omnipedia.

Tony Hsiung (left) and Xu Shaoyong (right) speaking at a press conference for Omnipedia’s public launch in 2049.

In November 2047, Yuri Golitsyn accused Xu of “fearmongering” after G6 had misidentified a rise in cases of CSVD as the start of a second wave of CMD. Xu responded by pointing to the CSVD surge in Russia and attributing it to the country’s illicit market in colloids, which does not have access to Endoptic’s licensed FLAPP nanomaterials that prevent colloids from causing CSVD. The hostile exchange between Xu and Golitsyn escalated a feud that had started in 2042 over Pokrov’s reported selling of collocidals.

On February 20th 2049, Xu celebrated Zhupao’s 25th anniversary with a Silver Jubilee discount on all G6 licensing tiers, which led to an influx of requests and the largest one-day point gain in the history of the SSE. In May 2049, he announced that the adoption of G6 had resulted in a drop in CO2 emissions “equivalent to China and the US stopping all economic production overnight.” On September 28th 2049, Xu took part in a press conference alongside Tony Hsiung to celebrate the launch of Omnipedia.

Personal life

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A photo of Xu Shaoyong walking in the sun with his wife Zhenxi Hai and their daughter Xu Xuejing.

Xu Shaoyong with his spouse Zhenxi Hai and their daughter Xu Xuejing in 2049.

On July 10th 2042, Xu married Zhenxi Hai, the daughter of a former deputy governor of Yunnan province. They have one child together, a daughter named Xuejing (born in 2044). Xu currently lives in Shanghai, though he often spends time in his penthouse in the Shard. Xu is repeatedly ranked as the most powerful person in the world by Forbes and other publications, receiving numerous awards and honorary degrees.

Xu’s personal wealth of ¥6.45 trillion comes from his 10% stake in Zhupao and other business interests. He frequently donates to charitable foundations and environmental causes. He owns property in Beijing, Colombo, London City, Shanghai, and Xianggang.

See also

References

  1. Xu, S. (March 2020). “International perspective: a Chinese student in London during the coronavirus outbreak.” Times Higher Education
  2. Ren, D. (September 2026). “Interview: Xu Shaoyong highlights Zhupao’s business strategies.” Caixin Global
  3. Pak-Nelson, J. (August 2028). “The 3D artist who designed Zōng never saw a dime of the popular icon’s steep licensing fees.” Polygon
  4. Chang, E. (May 2031). “From BAT to BATZ: How Zhupao joined the ranks of Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.” China Daily
  5. Pacotti, S. (July 2018). “Designing Intelligence.” Towards Data Science
  6. Amankwah, E; Frye, C. (April 2033). “Verification of compact and efficient dual-process transfer learning model.” Artificial Intelligence Journal
  7. Acar, J. (June 2035). “Over 600 scientists and researchers sign open letter to promote environment-friendly AI model.” The Guardian
  8. Renyaan, W. (October 2036). “Colloid implants set to shift smartphones from devices you have to devices you are.” Wired
  9. Lim, X. (May 2037). “Zhupao founder Xu Shaoyong ‘repeatedly ignored warnings’ from CEO Chen Lei about Communist Party.” South China Morning Post
  10. Muren, C; Hagen, S; Gao, K et al. (November 2033). “Electrode implant-based ultra-sensitive array for PrP detection in brain tissue.” Nature Nanotechnology
  11. Ivanova, P. (October 2044). “Cariappa-Muren disease hollowed out the Chinese state. Now Zhupao wears it as a mask.” The Guardian
  12. World Health Organisation. (May 2040). “China-WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2041-2045.” WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific
  13. Ruiz-Blondet, M; Jin, Z; Laszlo, S. (July 2016). “A Novel Method for Very High Accuracy Event-Related Potential Biometric Identification.” IEEE Signal Processing Society