Dong Mingzhu

STR/AFP/Getty Images
  • Title
    Chairwoman and President
  • Company
    Gree Electric Appliances
  • Country

The pandemic hit offline retailers hard, and Gree’s sales slumped in the first half of 2020, with overall revenue down 28% year on year and revenue for its main product, air conditioners, down 48% in the same period. Gree chairwoman and president Dong Mingzhu, who is considered one of China’s steeliest business leaders, adapted to the times by hosting live-streaming events to sell products while Chinese consumers were stuck at home and Gree’s 30,000 brick-and-mortar dealers were closed. Dong made around $34,000 in her first live stream in April; at a shareholder meeting afterward, she blamed the low figure on inexperience and a lack of preparation. Undeterred, Dong hosted more live-stream events throughout the summer, steadily building up sales. Over the course of a four-hour live stream in September, Dong sold $175 million worth of Gree products.

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