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Wall Street Journal Article about Frank Zhao of Longmarch BowlingDecember 30, 2023 · Frank Zhao

A Bowling Kingpin Lived the Chinese Dream. Now His Faith Is Being Tested.

Frank Zhao thrived in China’s go-go years by embracing bowling and teaming up with Americans. As getting ahead got tougher, he has battled to stay afloat.

Dec. 29, 2023 9:15 pm ET

Entrepreneur Frank Zhao at a factory in Xuyi, China, where he makes bowling balls.

XUYI, China—If you’ve ever gone bowling, there’s a decent chance you’ve used a ball made by a guy in China named Frank Zhao.

At a factory here, workers pour liquid polyester into rounded molds, churning out tens of thousands of bowling balls a year destined for the U.S.

Those balls, along with investments in bowling alleys and selling equipment, have made Zhao one of the kingpins of bowling in China.

A factory hand-turned-entrepreneur, he endured the Cultural Revolution, studied English by listening to lessons on cassette tapes, and partnered with Americans doing business in China to escape his poor background and achieve greater financial success than he had ever dreamed.

In 2016, around the peak of his success, Zhao built a bowling alley in Shanghai’s ritzy Bund neighborhood with disco lights and a bar offering $200 bottles of Glenlivet Scotch...

(click the link to Wall Street Journal to read the whole article.)