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Biography about Sino-Danish entrepreneur launched in Hangzhou

11.10.2012  11:25
The Danish Ambassador to China, Mr. Friis Arne Petersen, participated in the launch of a biography that tells the story of Mr. Sai-chiu Van, the founder of the Danish spring roll company Daloon.

The Danish Ambassador to China, Mr. Friis Arne Petersen, was in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province from 10-11th October to launch a new book called “The Adventure of the Spring Roll”.

The book is written by Danish law professor Dr. Ditlev Tamm and tells the story of how Mr. Sai-chiu Van immigrated to Denmark from Hangzhou in 1935 and founded the spring roll business Daloon, which fundamentally changed the attitude to non-European food in Denmark.

”Mr. Van was a successful Chinese entrepreneur who made good use of his background as well as the education opportunities in Denmark,” says Petersen in regards to the new biography about Van.

The story of a pioneer
Van’s first spring rolls were produced in his basement in Charlottenlund, a city north of Copenhagen. Van received his first order from a hot dog stand in the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen in 1960, and became the first person to manufacture spring rolls in Denmark.

In 1964 Van’s products got the name Daloon, which in Chinese means the great dragon. Because of the popularity of the Daloon spring rolls it became clear that there was a need for larger production facilities, and the first Daloon-factory was built in the Danish city of Nyborg in 1970.

Today Daloon’s products are now sold in many European countries, with United Kingdom, Germany and the Scandinavian countries as the most important markets. Spring rolls are still Daloon’s main product, and the group today produces more than 100 different food products, including many variations of its original spring roll.

Van passed away at the age of 90 years old on 14 February 2003, but the company is carried on by his youngest son Hemming Van.

Honored by the city of Hangzhou
The book launch event took place in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province and furthermore marked the 100 year anniversary reception for Van’s birth in the self-same city.

Wang Jincai, deputy party secretary of the CCP in Hangzhou, and Lissen Stokholm, daughter of S.C. Van at the book launch the 11th of October in Hangzhou.

Mr. Mads Kjeldsen, First Secretary at the Royal Danish Embassy, participated in the book launch event along with Ms. Lissen Stokholm, daughter of S.C. Van and chairman of the board at the S.C. Van Foundation. The Hangzhou-relatives of the late Mr. Van also participated in the book launch event.

"The rapid development of the Daloon in Denmark has in very concrete economic terms had a very positive impact on the Danish economy. However, I think S.C. Van was not only a business man. He was also a cultural pioneer, and his career and achievements highlight the value of cross-cultural exchange,"said Kjeldsen at the launch.

"S.C. Van is one of the examples we use, when we wish to underline the importance, significance and further potential of Danish-Chinese mutual cooperation and exchange. S.C. Van set a prime example for others to follow."

The event was arranged by the S.C. Van Foundation, the Municipal Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs and Zhejiang People's Publishing House.

From left to right: Professor Jørgen Delman, Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen, Professor Ditlev Tamm, Mrs. Lissen Stokholm, Mayor Shao Zhanwei.

In Hangzhou Ambassador Petersen also had a number of other meetings with the aim of promoting bilateral relations between Zhejiang province and Denmark. He met with the Mayor of Hangzhou, Mr. Shao Zhanwei, who was the host of a dinner Wednesday the 10th of October, where Tamm, Petersen, Stokholm and Jørgen Delman, Professor in Chinese at Copenhagen University, participated as honoured guests.

Ambassador Petersen also met with the president of Zhejiang University, Professor Yang Wei.