February 20th 2024
- Key people
- Chen Lei (acting executive chair and CEO)
- Spencer Hagen (CTO)
- Area served
- Market cap
Zhupao, Ltd. (猪跑) is a Chinese multinational technology conglomerate providing end-to-end data management systems to governments and industries worldwide. With the development of G6 and a market capitalisation surpassing ¥50 trillion, Zhupao has been called “one of the most influential political, economic, and cultural forces in the world.”
Founded in 2024 as a system integration company focused on Drupal, Zhupao expanded its portfolio to include cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions, and neural colloids. Largely through its technology incubation arm, Zhupao has supported and incorporated hundreds of startup companies, including Endoptic, Datalign, and Omnipedia.
In 2040, Zhupao entered 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, which is owned by Zhupao and administered by the United Nations (UN).
On September 30th 2049, Zhupao founder and executive chair Xu Shaoyong was assassinated when his private helicopter was destroyed by a drone missile at Beijing Daxing International Airport. Zhupao’s senior leadership has been moved to a secure location as a protective measure against further attacks, with chief executive officer (CEO) Chen Lei communicating as acting executive chair.
Table of contents
Zhupao was founded in Shanghai, China on February 20th 2024 by Xu Shaoyong, an e-commerce manager at Pinduoduo who was also active in Shanghai’s Drupal community. He started Zhupao as a limited company focused on Drupal-oriented system integration solutions, deriving the company name from zhū pǎo (猪跑, the pig runs), which sounds similar to the pronunciation of Drupal. Initially, Zhupao recruited developers from the Drupal community to create business-agile data management solutions across all major platforms.
In October 2024, Zhupao launched a customisable artificial intelligence (AI) assistant with a Drupal-based user interface (UI) that uses natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning techniques to provide services such as personalised discovery and recommendation algorithms, conversational interaction, and self-optimisation. The AI assistant’s default consumer-facing avatar of a smiling piglet proved so popular with clients that Zhupao adopted it as the company’s official mascot in January 2025, naming it Zōng (豵, pigling) and encouraging its front end use with discounted licensing prices. Zōng has since become one of the most popular and instantly recognisable pop culture icons in the world.
After posting revenues surpassing ¥150 million in February 2026, Xu created a second Zhupao development centre and cloud computing division in Beijing, offering end-to-end hosting solutions with built-in continuous deployment systems. In late 2026, Zhupao acquired Apprise, a Hangzhou-based AI and deep learning company, and Sanial, a Beijing startup specialising in brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). In March 2027, Zhupao partnered with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for the launch of Zhupay (猪付), a digital wallet and payment service using a secure commerce module built in Drupal. Following a series of trials at the provincial level, Zhupay was integrated into the Social Credit System (SCS) in October 2027.
In 2028, Zhupao merged with Pinduoduo in a deal between Xu and Pinduoduo chief executive officer (CEO) Chen Lei. Chen agreed to establish Pinduoduo as an e-commerce division of Zhupao, with Xu restructuring the company into five major operating arms: AI, cloud computing, e-commerce, fintech, and system integration. He also transitioned to the role of executive chair while installing Chen as CEO, which had been part of their agreement. By 2030, Zhupao owned approximately 30% of all cloud infrastructure in mainland China and more than 600,000 Chinese developers, government outlets, and listed companies were using Zhupao’s Drupal-based information technology (IT) solutions.
In 2031, Zhupao went public with a successful initial public offering (IPO) on the STAR Market, a bourse for technology companies on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE). Upon completion, Zhupao’s IPO raised over ¥300 billion for a 5% stake in the company, becoming the largest IPO on the SSE and making Zhupao one of the most valuable technology companies in the world.
In 2032, Xu launched Zhupao Campus as a private technology incubator and invested ¥15 billion of his net worth to support candidate ventures, many of which have gone on to join Zhupao as subsidiaries or research divisions. In February 2034, Zhupao started an AI innovation centre in London City, bringing in Efua Amankwah-Crouse from Google to lead a team of researchers on the development of the Pacotti architecture as a sustainable and environment-friendly model for AI. When Amankwah-Crouse’s team demonstrated in June 2035 that differentiable neural computers (DNCs) running the Pacotti architecture would reduce corresponding CO2 emissions by 70% when compared to standard AI models, Xu announced an initiative to switch all of Zhupao’s AI and data services over to this DNC design, an effort that was completed as of 2037.
In October 2036, Zhupao incorporated Endoptic as a subsidiary after merging it with Sanial. During a livestreamed conference on October 25th 2036, Xu and Endoptic CEO Spencer Hagen officially unveiled the first neural colloid as a new class of implantable multielectrode arrays (MEAs) and “the biggest paradigm shift in consumer technology since smartphones.”  To demonstrate their effectiveness and ease-of-use, Xu personally injected a colloid while on stage and pinged a live connection to his cerebral cortex.
In May 2037, Endoptic’s colloid design was reclassified by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) as a Class III implantable medical device (IMD), designating colloids “high-risk IMDs that pose potential risks to the human body and must be strictly controlled with respect to safety and effectiveness.” This unexpected ruling, which was attributed to frictions between Zhupao and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that had started in 2034, prompted international regulatory agencies to follow the SAMR’s lead and adjust or suspend their pending IMD approvals of colloids. As a result, Zhupao was forced to cancel several contracts and partnerships for the manufacture of colloids, which led to a concurrent drop in the company’s share price.
In June 2038, colloids were approved by the Therapeutic Products Directorate (TPD) as a Class II IMD carrying “intermediate risk,” enabling Zhupao to partner with select physicians and hospital across Canada to apply colloids to established medical neurostimulation treatments. Following the success of the Canadian trials and 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, Zhupao announced a partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to manufacture and supply diagnostic colloids for the WHO’s contact tracing efforts to contain the CMD pandemic.
Development of G6
In March 2040, Xu completed a corporate ownership restructuring plan to limit the decision-making power of Zhupao’s CCP-adjacent shareholder bloc. He also fired Gong Peiqiang, Zhupao’s chief technology officer (CTO) and standing member of the CCP Beijing Xicheng District Committee, and announced Hagen as Gong’s successor. On April 3rd 2040, Xu hosted a press event at Zhupao’s Shanghai headquarters, during which he criticised the CCP for covering up its failings in addressing the CMD pandemic. 
In response, then-CCP General Secretary Chen Baoqiang accused Xu of “inciting subversion of state power” and ordered CCP agencies to remove all appearances of Zōng from their online portals. It was later revealed that a wider mandate to strip out all Zhupao IT infrastructure was abandoned following widespread objections that doing so would cause significant disruption to SCS operations and public-facing government services. On April 9th 2040, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) halted all trading of Zhupay on digital currency exchanges, citing suspicions of fraud. Following a concession between members of the CCP’s Politburo as part of an internal power struggle, the CBIRC stop on Zhupay was lifted on April 12th 2040.
On May 3rd 2040, Zhupao entered 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.”  This strategy included a partnership between Zhupao and the National Health Commission (NHC) to redevelop China’s healthcare system from the ground up using Zhupao’s IT and colloid designs. On May 7th 2040, Zhupao announced the development of GPHIN 2.0 as “a new WHO-endorsed network for biosecurity, health informatics, and IMDs,” with Xu naming Amankwah-Crouse, Hagen, and Sunil Cariappa as the team leads of the project.
On September 23rd 2040, Zhupao held a conference to unveil the colloids that were being administered to Chinese citizens as part of four provincial GPHIN 2.0 pilot programmes. After injecting one of the colloids himself, Xu 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.  Zhupao also announced a set of GPHIN 2.0 trials in cooperation with state and private hospitals in Canada, London City, and Sri Lanka.
On October 31st 2040, the CCP declared the GPHIN 2.0 pilot programmes a success and announced its intention to introduce the network to all its territories and special economic zones (SEZs). With Zhupao retaining nominal ownership of GPHIN 2.0, the CCP announcement resulted in the company and its subsidiaries processing “thousands of purchasing and licensing requests per minute.” On December 1st 2040, Zhupao began construction on its new headquarters in Shanghai and purchased the Shard to serve as the company’s European headquarters in London City.
Following the passing of Resolution ES-13/6 by the United Nations (UN) in February 2041, the WHO organised a set of working groups with Zhupao and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to outline the terms of a WHO charter for the international use of GPHIN 2.0 (then renamed G6), including its integration with the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) and the WHO’s global alert system.  In April 2041, Zhupao presented G6-BASIC as a “baseline, opt-in” licensing tier for the implementation of G6, with the network’s national and cross-border deployment strictly defined in the WHO charter.
As an increasing number of UN member states ratified G6-centric referendums and electoral campaigns in the spring and summer of 2041, Zhupao reorganised its IT licensing tiers into a dedicated opt-in platform model. This model allows individuals, governments, and businesses to license different levels of access to G6 hardware and software on top of G6-BASIC. In June 2041, Xu moved or spun off several of Zhupao’s subsidiaries and acquisitions to create Datalign as a dedicated G6 system integration company. 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 above G6-BASIC and worked with Datalign to integrate them locally.
In July 2043, Zhupao completed construction of its new headquarters in Shanghai with a ceremony that included the activation of the building’s animated holographic projection of Zōng. Generated by the largest laser projection array in the world and occupying a space of 240m3 above the building, the Zōng hologram has become a hallmark of Shanghai’s skyline.
In 2044, Zhupao completed its acquisition of Geely‘s satellite production facility and testing centre in Taizhou, Zhejiang province as well as a ¥2.2 billion investment in SpaceX for the use of the company’s Interplanetary Transport System (ITS). In a press briefing on April 22nd 2044, Xu announced a joint venture between Zhupao and SpaceX for a series of ITS missions to deliver a constellation of 294 comsats to create a G6-compatible high-bandwidth communications system.
In October 2045, Zhupao suffered a massive breach to its internal network, resulting in the leak of a data cache containing technical white papers, G6 licensing agreements, and private files and correspondence of Zhupao employees. After having received the data cache from an anonymous source, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) shared it to various peer-to-peer networks on October 10th 2045, leading to a crowdsourced investigation that was picked up by international news outlets. The leaked data revealed that G6 had been extensively 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 issued a statement to reassure clients and shareholders that G6 had not been affected by the “regrettable” data breach. The statement also characterised the QNN retrofits as “imperative, given the amount of data that G6 is meant to process and the security requirements of this task.” An internal investigation attributed the data breach to the actions of Adira, though the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) maintained that Five of Swords (FoS) was responsible, singling out Amankwah-Crouse as a likely suspect due to her association with FoS and past experience with Zhupao. In response, Amankwah-Crouse claimed that she had been contacted by an anonymous whistleblower, who had asked her to pass the files they had been steadily hoarding to the ICIJ.
In November 2047, Zhupao’s share price dropped by 15% when an increase in cases of cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD) in countries subscribed to G6 was linked to colloids, with every recorded patient having at least one colloid implant. On November 24th 2047, CTO Hagen attributed the surge in CSVD to third-party colloid manufacturers without a license to Endoptic’s flexible artificial pseudoplastic (FLAPP) nanomaterials that prevent implantable MEAs from blocking capillaries in the brain, leading to CSVD. This led to some criticism of Zhupao’s patent enforcement on colloid technology.
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 June 2049, Zhupao announced a new round of Zhupao Campus investments, including Moodoo and Omnipedia.
Assassination of Xu Shaoyong
On September 30th 2049, Xu was assassinated when his private helicopter was destroyed by a hijacked drone operated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The CBIRC has put an extended stop on all SSE trading in Zhupao’s stock to give investors time to absorb the news of Xu’s death. On October 4th 2049, CEO Chen claimed that the CBIRC has not responded to requests for the stop on Zhupao’s stock trading to be lifted.
On October 5th 2049, CEO Chen announced that Zhupao had revoked the G6 owner-actor verification of the PLA in response to its attack on Second Advent. He claimed the action was taken “out of unfortunate necessity and urgency,” but did not specify whether Zhupao acted of its own accord, or on a request made by the CCP. Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Qi has been relieved of his command by the Politburo, though CCP General Secretary Mao Bo initially appeared supportive of him.
MPS Police Commissioner General Ren Yinpeng condemned Zhupao’s “paralysis of China’s defensive capability” and issued a warrant for the data that the PLA retrieved from the drone used in the assassination of Xu, stating that this data “is now in the hands of Zhupao alone, as the PLA’s IT infrastructure is currently withering by their hand.”
Zhupao favours a fully integrated value chain with a vertical approach, which gives the company extensive top-down control over global operations and allows it to increase market capitalisation and maintain market leadership status. Zhupao’s corporate structure is a functional one that focuses on different operating arms, with its subsidiaries and research divisions divided into each arm according to the nature of their business.
As executive chair, Xu Shaoyong was in charge of Zhupao’s directors and executive-level managers, who applied his directives to the operating arms under their control. Following the assassination of Xu on September 30th 2049, Zhupao’s senior leadership was moved to a secure location, with CEO Chen assuming the duties of acting executive chair. On October 1st 2049, Lei stated that “Zhupao will continue to operate at the height of its ability” and pledged full cooperation with authorities to “root out the perpetrators of this reprehensible act.”
- Chang, E. (May 2031). “From BAT to BATZ: How Zhupao joined the ranks of Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.” China Daily. ↩
- Amankwah, E; Frye, C. (October 2032). “Verification of a compact and efficient dual-process transfer learning model.” ICLR 2033. ↩
- Eveleigh, S. (April 2036). “If mining and refining data is the new fossil fuel industry, the Pacotti neural net is renewable energy.” MIT Technology Review. ↩
- Renyaan, W. (October 2036). “Colloid implants set to shift smartphones from devices you have to devices you are.” Wired. ↩
- Lee-Cohen, B. (April 2040). “Xu Shaoyong offers Sunil Cariappa and Li Qiao Fan ‘asylum’ at Zhupao headquarters.” Bloomberg. ↩
- Ivanova, P. (October 2044). “Cariappa-Muren disease hollowed out the Chinese state. Now Zhupao wears it as a mask.” The Guardian. ↩
- World Health Organisation. (May 2040). “China-WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2041-2045.” WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific. ↩
- Muren, C; Hagen, S; Gao, K et al. (November 2033). “Electrode implant-based ultra-sensitive array for PrP detection in brain tissue.” Nature Nanotechnology. ↩
- 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. ↩
- Skornia, F. (February 2041). “United Nations Adopts Emergency Resolution To Install Global Biosecurity System.” Buzzfeed. ↩
- Egler, L. (October 2045). “Zhupao data leak reveals inner workings and undisclosed quantum tech of G6.” Wired. ↩