After being subject to criticism regarding his profits, Wang clarified on March 6 that he had made the money with several business partners.

After the online backlash, Wang explains that the profits he described had been shared with other partners and was not just his alone. Photo: Douyin

After the online backlash, Wang explains that the profits he described had been shared with other partners and was not just his alone. Photo: Douyin

He also said that setting up a business is risky, adding that he cancelled the registration of some companies he had started as they did not perform well.

“I do not suggest everyone start up their own business. However, I think everyone, especially university students, should have a creative mindset,” said Wang, who is majoring in business management.

“I have endured many failures and frustrations from running my own companies in past years. I was born in a rural area and am willing to take risks. But this is not for everyone, depending on your personality and ability to bear the risk,” added Wang.

Besides money, he said the rewards from running his companies were cultivating entrepreneurship and a hard-working spirit.

“Take the second-hand book business, for instance. I had to pick up waste books from smelly dustbins before sorting them out. This is a time-consuming and laborious process,” Wang said. “So while my university counterparts played games or drank cola in dormitories, I rode a pedicab under the scorching sun to collect books like a farmer.”

Some online commenters warned others against following Wang’s example, saying starting a business is not for everyone. Photo: Douyin

Some online commenters warned others against following Wang’s example, saying starting a business is not for everyone. Photo: Douyin

He said what motivated him to go into business while studying was his personal interest in entrepreneurship.

“Life is short. If I do not do what I am interested in, I will regret,” said Wang.

The story has attracted tens of thousands of comments on Douyin alone.

“What a business genius! He studies well and does business well in the meantime. His parents are too lucky!” one person said.

But another person speculated: “He must have had a good relationship with the school’s leaders. In most universities, students are banned from selling things on campus”.

Xiong Bingqi, director of the Beijing-based 21st Century Education Research Institute, wrote in the Beijing News to warn that most university students should not follow Wang’s path.

“Each student should make their own plan for university life. If a person follows in Wang’s footsteps blindly, they may fail in both their studies and their business,” Xiong said.

“Don’t envy other people making big money. You should explore what you want and what you should do in university life to achieve your goals,” he added.