By the early 1990s, Deng Xiaoping’s reforms were beginning to transform China, the Internet was beginning to transform the world and Tian seized the historical moment. He and a Chinese friend from Dallas founded AsiaInfo Holdings to bring Internet technology back home. Within three years, he had 320 employees and revenues of $45 million a year.
In 1999, the Chinese government created a new company, China Netcom Group, to compete with China Telecom in bringing broadband to China. Tian was asked to become chief executive, and he accepted. The ranch researcher from Lubbock ended up with 230,000 people working for him. [Full text]