Mr. Stephen Wong (Huang Hongsheng), Founder of SKYWORTH
In 1981, the Chinese national football team were fighting for a chance to enter the World Cup for the first time. At the same time, Mr. Stephen Wong was studying at the South China University of Technology, majoring in Radio Engineering.
With the match kicking off during a time where radios were rarely seen and TVs hard to come by, the university set up a 9-inch black-and-white TV for the students to cheer on their team and watch the game together. For many, this was the first time they had ever experienced the wonders of a TV broadcast program, including the young Mr. Wong.
The impressive technology and team spirit of the students paved the way for Mr. Wong’s love for TV and entertainment. For him, it was more than a mysterious gadget, it was a window into the world of possibilities and means of bringing people together.
From that moment, Mr. Wong’s future was set in motion. He not only focused his graduation thesis on black-and-white TV design, but began to wonder whether China could also produce high-quality TV sets like international TV manufacturers. As the famous Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once said: “Don’t wait for the right opportunity. Create it.”
Building up his knowledge on the TV industry, Mr. Wong started his career as a fresh graduate working for the National Electronics Import & Export Corporation, where he served as a technical translator and accompanied the company’s research and development director on roadshows around China. His fascination for the TV business only continued to grow.
In the 1980s, the policy reforms and management mechanisms in the Pearl River Delta region stimulated economic development. During a business trip to the cold Northeast of China, Mr. Wong had a light bulb moment, after repeatably having to climb out of bed to switch TV channels in the freezing cold. That was when he realized there was a gap in the TV remote control market.
Mr. Wong saw that as an opportunity to launch his first business, putting his life savings of RMB 30,000 on the line. With this small capital outlay, he started a company in TV remote controls, with the goal of addressing the need for domestic TV manufacturers and an ambition to make the TV viewing experience more convenient for everyone to enjoy. He went on to make his mark in the TV industry, launching the SKYWORTH brand.
In 1988, Mr. Wong identified the right opportunity to launch SKYWORTH internationally. With the support of a strong and experienced technical team, in just nine months, the team developed the world’s leading third-generation color TV for SKYWORTH. In October 1991, Mr. Wong led the company’s debut at IFA in Germany, and won its first overseas order for 20,000 units of third-generation color TVs. That success laid a solid foundation for continued development and product innovation, enabling Mr. Wong to cement his foothold in the TV industry, and earning him his first fortune by 1990.
Mr. Stephen Wong (on the right) debuted SKYWORTH TVs at IFA in Berlin, Germany in October 1991, with his teammates, which resulted in an order of 20,000 units
In 2000, Mr. Wong was one of the recipients of the Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong, organized by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries. The jury recognized Mr. Wong’s achievement in building a strong SKYWORTH brand with a large-scale business plan, and his commitment to continuous innovation to enhance product quality and competitiveness. He was also celebrated for his entrepreneurial spirit and determination to reach his goals, making him a classic entrepreneur archetype.
Mr. Stephen Wong gave his award acceptance speech at the Young Industrialist Awards of Hong Kong in 2000
In the past three decades, Mr. Wong has continued to follow his passion and persevered in the pursuit of his TV dream, abiding by the motto of “Be Innovative, Be Bold” and successfully building a future for SKYWORTH. Since 2000, SKYWORTH has been listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Mr. Wong strongly believes that R&D is the key ingredient to the success of the SKYWORTH brand. As of 2020, SKYWORTH employs 1,000 staff in 10 R&D centers around the world, dedicated to the innovation and development of proprietary technology, and the Group has applied for more than 8,000 patents. Throughout his career, Mr. Wong has seen the developments from LED to OLED TVs, and from 4K to 8K TVs, and will eventually see the jump from isolated data islands to eventual interconnectivity of all home appliances via AIoT (Artificial Intelligence-enabled Internet of Things).
Over the years, SKYWORTH has evolved from its origins as a TV business into a leading international enterprise in the field of smart home appliances and information technology, with business lines focused on:
1. Multimedia (e.g. smart TVs, digital set-top boxes, AR/VR)
2. Smart appliances (e.g. air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, kitchen and bathroom appliances)
3. Smart system technology (e.g. smart home systems, smart car systems, intelligent manufacturing)
4. Modern service (e.g. maintenance and repair for home appliances, macro-logistics services, international trades, construction development, financial lease and property operation for industrial parks)
Mr. Wong’s passion, determination and entrepreneurial spirit has set a solid example for his successors to follow, as they continue to lead SKYWORTH on its robust innovation journey, enabling people all over the world to enjoy a quality lifestyle through smart and innovative technology available to all.