This article is excerpted from Biographies of Prominent Chinese, published in Shanghai in c.1925.
Mr Yung Tsoong-king, who is known to many as the Flour King of China, was born in Wusih, Kiangsu Province, in 1873. As a youth, he was not interested in books, but devoted his time to agriculture. At the age of fifteen, he went to Shanghai to enter the business world. He watched with keen interest the fluctuation of the currency market, and, being a keen observer of national affairs, realized that his only hope of rising to prominence was to build up industry. Foodstuffs and clothing seemed to offer the greatest possibilities, both being daily necessities of the masses. His strong determination was rewarded, and he succeeded in launching his first enterprises in Wusih where he erected the Mow Sing Flour Mill, and the Chen Hsin Cotton Mill. Although hardships and near failures obstructed the progress of the two mills, as well as dissatisfaction felt by others interested in the ventures, Mr. Yung never gave up hope. When China adopted the Republican form of government, his troubles appeared to be at an end. He was enabled to erect the Foh Sing Flour Mill at Shanghai; and, later, business increased to such an extent that he managed to add seven branch factories, located at advantageous positions.
Because of disagreement with the shareholders of the Chen Hsin Mill at Wusih, he relinquished his interest in that mill, and established the Sung Sing Cotton Mill in Shanghai,—which proved so successful that four branches were added. Another flour mill was built in Hankow, one in Tsinanfu, and another cotton mill in Wushi. At present Mr. Yung controls sixteen mills.
In addition to being a great industrial leader, Mr. Yung is a philanthropist, and is constantly contributing to charity. Desiring to aid the cause of education in China, he has established the Sung Sing Kung Yih and Ching Hwa Girls’ Schools, in Shanghai, and the Kung Shan Middle School in Wusih. Being an admirer of the good roads in the Shanghai Settlement, and having a keen interest in road development, he has built the famous Tung Wei and Kai Yuen highways,—the former leading from Wusih station to the Wei Shen Hills, and the latter extending to the very edge of the Great Lake. The well known park, “Mei Yuen”, and his magnificent villa, are interesting attractions to visitors in this part of the country.
Mr. Yung took an active part in the establishment of the Cotton Experimental Station at Nanking, under the auspices of the Chinese Cotton Mill Owners Association, and the Wheat Experimental Station in Wusih, owned by the Shanghai Flour Association. As a reward for his charitable and generous contributions towards public welfare, he was awarded by the President of China, the Second Class Grand Cordon Paokuang Chiaho. Because of his broad knowledge of agriculture, industry and commerce, he was retained as advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce. He has been asked to serve as advisor to the director of Wusih Commercial Port Bureau.
A.R. Burt, J.B. Powell and Carl Crow, editors, Biographies of Prominent Chinese (Shanghai: Biographical Publishing Company Inc., c.1925), 64.