Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Illustration by Luis Grañena It was the spring of 1949, and Rong Yiren had reason to worry. Reportedly one of China’s 10 richest individuals, he hid with his wife and five children in a downstairs corridor of his mansion as the People’s Liberation Army swept through Shanghai and claimed it for the Chinese Communist Party. As a scion of China’s wealthiest industrial dynasty, Rong was at the mercy of Mao Zedong’s new regime, which promised to end capitalism. But as the sun rose on May 25, the 33-year-old found himself and his young family unscathed. Curious, he slipped behind the wheel of his sports car and cruised the tree-lined streets in the upscale Xuhui district. After a violent civil war had roiled China for four years, Rong felt relieved to see well-behaved troops who weren’t harassing or looting local residents. He was even more relieved when, a few days later, the city’s new mayor, Chen Yi, invited him to a business forum. Shanghai was home to half of the nation’s private industry at thSubscribe or register to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.