Multi-Millionaire Donates to Hometown, Turning Run-Down Village Into Gated Community

May 21, 2019 Updated: May 21, 2019

Chinese businessman Xiong Shuihua may have millions now—but he grew up far from the rich and wealthy areas of China’s bustling big cities.

The 54-year-old was instead raised in a small village called Xiongkeng within the city of Xinyu, growing up with very little money in southern China.

Despite his family’s financial situation, though, he remembered that the village always looked out for its own. He never wanted for food or security, as the residents of the village always looked after him and his family when he was young.

It’s been decades now, and Shuihua has gone on to make millions in the steel industry. But he’s never forgotten his beginnings—so he’s decided to pour a significant chunk of his immense wealth into giving back to those who helped him out in his early years.

Shuihua has completely demolished entire blocks of his former village, knocking down dozens of traditional huts in favor of new, luxury high-rise condos and apartments. He’s also paid for the construction of private state-of-the-art villas, completely gentrifying his old village and knocking down the tired town to make things as fancy as possible.

While most towns that gentrify buildings and renovate areas do so with the hopes of making more money on rent, though, Shuihua had a very different plan in mind. This new village is going to retain all of its old residents—who will be able to live in the new, fancy homes he’s paid to have built entirely rent-free.

The project has taken a few years, but the impact has been immediate.

The village has already seen over 90 families move into new flats, while 18 of those families—ones who were particularly kind to Shuihua and his own family growing up—have been moved into the new private villas. The project costs an estimated 4 million pounds (approx. US$5 million) for the private villas alone, with the luxury flats costing even more.

His generosity hasn’t stopped there, though.

In an even more generous move, the wealthy businessman has promised three free meals a day to all of the older residents of the village, who were around when he was a child and helped his own family put food on their table. He’s also promised the meals to low-income families in the area, making sure they have enough to eat while they work to better their situations—taking away the biggest stressors for poor families and providing them housing and food in order to make their lives easier.

He took the spirit of community that the village used to care for him and his family during his childhood and paid it back in kind—only he did so while using as many of his own resources as those who did it years ago did. For him, that means spending millions—something he seems all too happy to do.