By  on June 1, 2012

Seventeen years ago, an executive from an international company paid a visit to Shanghai Jahwa United Co. Ltd. — among China’s oldest and largest cosmetics firms — and implied its products lacked originality and competitiveness.

The chairman of the board at the time “was so embarrassed that he decided to develop something really special, really different, really impressive,” recalled Zhuo (Joe) Wang, executive vice president of Shanghai Jahwa, during his speech, which was peppered with poetry he had translated from Chinese into English.

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