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 Sam Ward Listen to SupChina editor-at-large and Sinica podcast host Kaiser Kuo read this article. On January 25, 2020, as the city of Wuhan headed into the world’s first Covid-19 lockdown, the Chinese billionaire Wang Jian arrived on one of the last incoming trains. Flanked by a small entourage of younger scientists, Wang exited the station wearing a mask, a light puffy jacket and a backpack. Thousands were fleeing the river port metropolis. But Wang came ready to work. During the SARS epidemic in 2003, the now 66-year-old geneticist had been similarly proactive, repeatedly flying to the outbreak’s epicenter in Guangdong Province to petition authorities to allow his young bioscience firm, the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), to sequence the deadly respiratory virus’s genome. Wang’s requests were denied until the last moment, after SARS reached Canada and scientists there became the first to sequence it — a national embarrassment for a rising China. BGI evSubscribe, register or login 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.