Wuyi Liu was the owner of the PriceSmart China supermarket chain. The first few decades of his life were spent as a relative unknown; he served 25 years in the Chinese army before returning to civilian life. That all changed when he registered the PriceSmart China franchise in 1996, at age 51.
In less than ten years, Liu transformed the small franchise into one of China’s largest retail empires, opening 48 stores across the country. The business had revenues of $500 million per year but ultimately collapsed when a lawsuit revealed the company was in debt and forced it into bankruptcy.
In 2005, the final PriceSmart China store closed its doors and Liu disappeared from the country.