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Li Jianquan

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Class of 2021, Mainland China

Chairman of Winner Medical Co., Ltd.

Li Jianquan invented a special cotton fabric to make everyday items eco-friendly.

Photographic portrait of Li Jianquan

Li Jianquan

In the late 1980s, Li Jianquan wished to be part of the drive toward homegrown production of goods in China. He left a steady job at a state-owned company, moved to a new city and set up Winner Medical, specializing in the production of surgical products. Three decades later, his company is China’s leading exporter of cotton medical dressings and bandages.

Jianquan led his team to develop a technique for making a special fabric from 100% natural cotton fiber. He wanted to try a natural material for treating injuries after seeing how much pain synthetic gauze could cause. The company secured a patent for the innovation, but Jianquan had to navigate complex regulations before the product met the rigorous standard for medical sales. After that, Winner Medical quickly gained patents for the cotton fabric dressings in more than 40 countries, including the United States, Canada and Japan.

A longtime environmentalist, Jianquan continuously invests in the development and application of innovative green materials with his commitment to using non-woven fabric and pure cotton as raw material. He has expanded Winner Medical into consumer essentials, making sustainable cotton tissues, sanitary napkins, diapers, clothing and bedding.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jianquan and his team worked around the clock for four consecutive months to make millions of standardized protective face masks and surgical gowns for more than 3,000 hospitals and 90,000 pharmacies in China. They also have exported supplies to more than 70 countries, gaining the recognition of local government and medical organizations. It’s an example of Winner Medical’s core principles in action, which Jianquan explains are quality over profit, brand over speed, and “social responsibility is superior to corporate value.”