About Canyou

2012-05-03 10:26   Source:Shenzhen Zhengweining Charity Foundation   Author:Guangdong Investigation & Research Center


CANYOU: A Revolution of Employment Mode for Disabled People Beginning from a PC
No one can imagine the evolution of a large-scale commonweal platform, begining from a PC, to a group company which is combined of 32 social enterprises including software, cartoon, E-commerce and internet-based subsidiary companies, one Charity Foundation and 8 NPOs, with national certification of Hi-Tech enterprise, world CMMI certification level 3 (ready for level 5). No one can even imagine this great job is not accomplished by healthy people like Wang, Zhiyuan and Ma, Huateng, but by five disabled people, either has disease of one-sided paralysis, or muscular dystrophy, or crashed backbone, led by a wheelchair-bound patient with severe Hemophilia, Mr. Zheng, Weining.
After 15 years, these pioneering people not only succeed in business, but also succeed to help more disabled people to get their jobs. Nowadays, Canyou Group blossoms across the country, thousands of disabled people become premium human resource on computers. Canyou has changed the former situation of discrimination, low level and low income, and is starting a tender revolution to help disabled people to regain the hope for life.
I.                   Establishment of Canyou: Disabled but Persistent, from a PC to a Group Company
15 years ago, Zheng had to face the destiny without alternate choice, waiting for the kiss of death in wheel-chair, born to have Hemophilia disease, predicted by doctors to live less than 50 years, always being cautious not to bleed since a slight injury will cause blood streaming. Zheng didn’t take his fate lying down. He began to learn computers with the help of his wife. Through the screen he found that he could do many things without leaving home. If the fragile body is not fit for strong physical work, why not doing mental work?  He had an idea to build a website for disabled people, and then put all his lifesaving money given by his parents into the project.
Then his home became a base camp of venture for these five people. No matter what disease they had, whether one-sided paralysis, muscular dystrophy, or crashed backbone, at least they had normal brains like regular people. On computers they could do what ordinary people could. Everyone worked hard since it had become the big chance to prove himself. “I decided to startup in the end of last century, finding something to do, otherwise I would had committed suicide. I never thought about this when my mother was alive, since I felt valuable to do something for her, measuring blood-pressure, feeding medicines and comforting her.  When my mother passed away in May that year and I got severe Tristimania, feeling no hope, believing only death is a kind of relief. My mother left 300,000 Yuan to me, so I decided to end my life after spending all that money, so I started the business. Today if I meet someone who has the same situation as me, I will find something to ‘torture’ him. We run ‘Canyou’ (meaning friends of disabled), in order to absorb all the disabled people to join, to do things worth to do, valuable to community, profound for himself. I think this is the happiest way of living to one person.”  ‘Without Shenzhen, my life will be really disabled’ (26th May 2010, NanFang Daily).
Not waiting to die quietly, but struggling to do something valuable, this is Zheng’s philosophy. One year later, their website (Chinese Service Network for Disabled People-Shenzhen Futian Canyou Internet Workshop) became the highest click-rate commonweal website for disabled people. 
But one website was not enough, they needed bigger platform. People like them whose body are partially disabled have much more things to do. Occasionally in 2002, Zheng met Li Hong, who was once the Zhejiang provincial highest-ranking student in college entrance examination, graduated from Beijing University, Physics department, and rejected by many famous IT companies because of his congenital disease-muscular dystrophy. Lihong came to Shenzhen to visit Zheng, with his last hope. ‘I want to be Hawking of IT industry’.
Lihong’s participation opened a new page for Canyou to start software development. In 2004, Canyou was awarded ‘Certification of Software Enterprise and Products’ by National Ministry of Science and Technology. In 2005, with the help of Shenzhen Bureau of Civil Affairs, Canyou set up ‘Shenzhen Information Non-obstacle Research Association’. In 2007, Canyou Software Company was founded and awarded Hi-Tech enterprise by Shenzhen municipal government. In 2008, Canyou Cartoon Culture Development Company was founded, together with Canyou Technology Company, Canyou E-Commerce Company.  In 2009, Shenzhen Canyou Group Company was founded. Untill 2011, Canyou has set up 32 subsidiary companies around China (as in Table-01 and Figure-01), including Kashi and Haikou. In addition to organization expanding, Canyou has also setup technology communication and cooperation with many international companies such as IBM global Information Non-obstacle Center, Intel, CISCO, Microsoft, German G&D Bank, Autodesk and Huawei etc.

Table 01 – Distribution of Canyou Group in China

Enterprise Name
Employee Description
Canyou Group Company
College graduate
Canyou Software Company
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Cartoon Company
College graduate, majored in Arts
Canyou Technology Company (Shenzhen)
Primary Education
Canyou E-Charity Company
Primary Education
Canyou Training Company
Normal College graduate
Canyou E-Commerce Company
Primary Education
Canyou Shenggu Telecom Company
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Counsultant Company
College graduate, majored in administration
Canyou Employment Promotion Company
College graduate
Canyou Internet of Things Technology Company
College graduate
Canyou Intelligent Equipment Company
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Xinyongheng Culture Broadcasting Company
College graduate, majored in Arts
Canyou Non-Obstacle Facility Service Company
College graduate
Canyou Weining Project Management Company
College graduate, majored in administration
Canyou Internet Workshop (Futian)
Primary Education
China Service Network for Disabled People
College graduate, majored in Computers
Canyou Electronic Engineering Company
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Technology Company (Zhuhai)
Primary Education
Canyou Technology Company (Kashi)
Primary Education
Canyou Technology Company (Haikou)
Primary Education
Canyou Accessory Technology Company
College graduate
Hainan Canyou IT Research Institute
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Software Company (Guangzhou)
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Precision manufacturing Company
College graduate, majored in Science & Technology
Canyou Technology Company (Shanwei)
Primary Education
Canyou Technology Company (Beijing)
College graduate
Canyou Technology Company (Shanghai)
College graduate
Canyou Technology Company (Chenzhou)
Primary Education
Canyou Technology Company (HongKong)
College graduate
Canyou Technology Company (Macau)
College graduate
Canyou Technology Company (Taiwan)
College graduate


II. Reason for Canyou’s Development: Three Innovations, From A Company to A Mode.
Like regular people, disabled people have the same right in equal employment and earned income. They can get independent economic position and income through work, enhancing confidence and self-recognition, finding their value for life and the hope for future, merging into the community with confidence.
However, the disabled group is usually in passive situation. On one hand, most companies are not willing to hire disabled people, even the ‘Regulations of Employment for Disabled People’ requires all the enterprises to employ disabled people no less than 1.5% of their total employees. However, according to ‘Research report on employment of disabled people at certain percentage’, 90% enterprises would rather choose to pay ‘Employment Security Fund for Disabled People’ but not to hire a disabled people. On the other hand, a disabled person who finds a job would always face difficulties in low-quality employment, low-level job and low income. He can not fulfill his value or improve himself. He will face discrimination either in job or income, and he is always the first one to be laid off.   
Since it’s not easy to push forward the employment by percentage regulation, concentrated employment seems to be an effective solution. However, in the past years, social welfare enterprises have many problems such as less competitive, weak management, less profit and risk of bankruptcy related to world economy decline, even with the help of government tax preferential policy and fund support. (it’s estimated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs that every disabled employee will cost 26,000 Yuan from government subsidy). For example, in 1995, there were 4,440 welfare enterprises in Guangdong, after 15 years, the number was only 172. (See Figure 02)



Figure 02- No. of Welfare Enterprises in 15 years. (Data from Statistics Yearbook of Guangdong, 2011)


Question: Is a disabled person really a hot potato to enterprises?
In fact, disabled people can also become the outstanding human resources. It has already been proved by Canyou Group. Disabled people can also produce high benefit and become high-income group. Compared to welfare enterprises, Canyou not only stands firmly in front of difficulties and crisis, but also expands rapidly and achieves enormous economic value.
Canyou’s employee dropout rate is extremely low. Since founded, only one intermediate team member  left because of illness and returned to his hometown for early retirement.
The success of Canyou is not only attributed to these founders like Zheng Weining and Li Hong, but mostly the innovative ‘Canyou Mode’ , which provides disabled people not only a job position, but also the chance to work, live and pursue happiness equally as normal people.
What is called ‘Canyou Mode’? Simply saying, ‘Canyou Mode’ is a tender revolution. It is a brand-new innovation mode, to consider the needs for physical and mental health of the disabled group, from aspect of employment and operation to welfare, to promote high-level employment in Hi-Tech industry during 8 hours work-time (Software, Cartoon, Electronic Engineering, E-Commerce, Call Center, etc.), to provide accommodation and catering service in integrated living area, to provide social worker and volunteers’ service, from non-obstacle utility to psychological consultation, to combine career and rehabilitation, to eliminate chronic problems in disabled people employment.  In specifically following three innovations,
1.         Innovation of High-Level Employment in Canyou Mode.
In the background of economy globalization, service outsourcing (ITO and BPO) has become a highly internationalized industry. Benefit from acceleration of economy transition, from combination of industry and information, and government supportive policy, after 10 years rapid development, the scale and business capability of service outsourcing in China have increased remarkably. China has become the second large global software outsourcing market, just behind India, and predicted to become No. 1 in 2015. From the ‘12th five-year plan’ in China, it is estimated that after 7 to 8 years, the total BOF amount of service outsourcing in China will reach 50 billion US dollars.
Canyou Group chose and devoted into service outsourcing, especially software outsourcing in ITO and earned the first bucket of gold. In the past, disabled people were regarded as the burden of the community, often as worthless labor resource with low-level jobs and low income. However, in new information technology era, internet and computers become so popular that a disabled people can produce high value and high efficiency as normal people, just learning in front of computer. Zheng indicates, “A software engineer could develop software programs independently, but in order to take the advantage of resource of all disabled people, the programing process has been divided into 10 steps (maybe 3 to 4 of them belong to repeating low-level process), and finally combined into production line. In this way, those who have never been in college can work on software too.”
Almost every disabled person has a strong heart of self-respect, self-reliance, extraordinary endurance and patience. Since the limitation of outgoing and self-condition, their thought and soul become more idealized and simple-hearted, more diligent and more careful. A software engineer, Li Yuanyi, has disease of brain paralysis. He could not control facial muscle because of injured cerebral, yet he is a programming expert! His brain has much stronger control force since he has to struggle against matters hard to control everyday. People with brain paralysis disease are just suitable for software industry since internal relationship of programs is most important, no matter how long the code is. Another example is, in programming, to achieve special effect some specific controllers must be called out. While a regular programmer can manage maximum 30 controllers, however, when a person who has brain paralysis and only junior high school education is assigned to this task, he can manage over 1000 controllers and can call out any controllers instantly and accurately whenever the developers need.
Today, no matter in China or in other countries, when the world is soaked in atmosphere of cherishing leisure and freedom, less work but more payment, high welfare but low contribution, who can achieve such level as Canyou, regarding work as value realization, with group self-respect and self-reliance?  Through Hi-Tech employment of disabled people, Canyou has changed the situation that traditional welfare enterprises are always located in low-level industry. Canyou has provided all staffs a safe, stable, warm and harmonious home.  At the entrance of Canyou headquarter in Shenzhen, there are several shining honor plates, ‘National Hi-Tech Enterprise’, ‘National Outstanding Welfare Enterprise’, ‘CMMI 3 Software Enterprise Global Certification’, ‘Shenzhen Culture and Technology Enterprise’, etc. proving that disabled people could become excellent human resource, in the new economy era, disabled people can create high economic value and social influence, they are not the burden of society anymore!  

2.         Pioneering and Innovation of Canyou Mode
a)        Three-in-one developing mode
Canyou is composed of three core components- ZhengWeining Charity Foundation, NPOs (including China Service Network for Disabled People, Shenzhen Information Non-Obstacle Research Association, Canyou Social Worker Service Agency, Caring Canyou Volunteer Association, Canyou Non-Obstacle Transport Service Center, Luohu Weining Community Service Center, Shanghai Canyou Employment Development Center, Hainan Canyou IT Institute) and social enterprises (Canyou Group Company, Canyou Software, Canyou Cartoon, Canyou E-Charity, Canyou Zhuhai, Canyou Hainan, Canyou Kashi, Canyou Internet Workshop, Canyou Technology, Canyou Management Consultation, Canyou Employment Promotion, Canyou Engineering Technology, Canyou Shenggu Telecom etc.). The Foundation acting as administration agency, NPOs and social enterprises as two wings, this 3-in-1 structure is pushing forward the development of Canyou.
In Nov. 2009, ZhengWeining Charity Foundation was founded. Mr. Zheng Weining donated 2 million Yuan to register the Foundation, together with his 90% stock share in Canyou Group and 51% of branch companies, ‘Canyou’ and ‘Zheng Weining’ famous trademark.
The establishment of the Foundation solved the operational problem of Canyou Group. Since business success makes profits, Canyou Group may have chance to be listed on stock market in the future, this also indicates huge temptation. Once the founder who is persistent with charity passes away, without the restriction of charity charateristic, Canyou could possibly change to a normal business company chasing maximal profit, former basic principle may disappear. A recipient is needed to receive and manage the property donated by the founder. Therefore, the establishment of the Foundation solved the issue of charity property owner.
The Foundation controls Canyou Group Company, ensuring the principle to keep itself as a social enterprise. Canyou social enterprises are responsible for business operation inside 8 hours, providing job opportunities and expense for daily-life. When the enterprises succeed and make profit, the Foundation reput the money into more charity activities and developing fund for social enterprises, to further push forward the incubation and growth of more social enterprises. In the same time, NPOs in Canyou, such as China Service Network for Disabled People, Shenzhen Information Non-Obstacle Research Accociation, Canyou Social Worker Service Agency, Caring Canyou Volunteers Association, etc. are responsible for daily-life and social worker services outside 8 hours work-time. Altogether these three components form a close-loop connected with each other, fund flow is effective in this stable triangle structure, keeping Canyou vivid, generating more and more life entity with similar structure, copying and cloning Canyou Mode and bring benefit to more disabled people. (Figure 03)


Figure 03- Three-in-one Operation Mode of Canyou


Table-02 NPOs sponsored by ZWN Charity Foundation

China Service Network for Disabled People
Shenzhen Information Non-obstacle Research Association
Shenzhen Caring Canyou Volunteers Association
Shenzhen Canyou Social Worker Service Agency
Hainan Canyou IT Institute
Shanghai Canyou Centralized Employment Development Center
Shenzhen Luohu Weining Community Service Center
Weining Dyslexia Center
Canyou Non-Obstacle Transport Service Center

a)        Integration of Employment and Logistics
The requirement of working environment for disabled people is different from healthy people, especially transport convenience for those with physical disability. As a self-help organization, Canyou takes overall consideration. It has designed integrated career and logistic systems, most of the employees reside inside company, where non-obstacle facilities are equipped. Dormitories and canteen are located near the office, on ground floor or where elevator accessible. Laundry service is provided for free. In the morning one just put the dirty clothes into basket, in the evening he can take them back clean and dry. Bathrooms are at the end of corridor and also wheelchair accessible, chairs are put under the nozzle to seat while taking shower.
Canyou not only considers employee’s need inside 8 hours, but also outside 8 hours. Under the guidance of Hong Kong social workers invited by City Bureau of Civil Affairs, Canyou has created the concept of non-obstacle living security service, including catering, accommodation, transportation, rehabilitation and social activity. In 2009, The Shenzhen Bureau of Civil Affairs paid for salary of 2 social workers in Canyou (8 more in year 2012), and recruited a specialist from Hong Kong as social worker supervisor. By their efforts, professional skills were applied to manage the dormitories. Canyou has also constructed the first professional non-obstacle transport fleet for disabled people (all vehicles equipped with standard hydraulic-pressure wheelchair lift and foldable stairs). Interesting group-touring activities are regularly organized such as beech surfing, movie appreciation, mountain hiking, etc. 8 large events were held in 2010, more than 30 volunteers attended each time. This mode has become an important part of this survival revolution for Canyou employees. Canyou employees receive stable salary in time, plus additional benefit outside 8 hours as extra income. Therefore, the happiness index is extraordinary high inside Canyou.
2.         Welfare Innovation of Canyou Mode
a.       Unique internal staged training system
Canyou believes that people are equal whether he is disabled or not, especially inside Canyou. Since the establishment, Canyou has applied a mechanism of self-management inside 8 hours, internal staged training, business practice and open post. Internal staged training mechanism means that Canyou builds a knowledge pool shared by each employee, to learn technology and soft skill, and learn from experienced colleagues, in addition to internal and external staged training, to develop himself. Open post means, everybody can apply for any post inside Canyou at any time, no matter what department or branches or regions he belongs to, either same-level exchange or high-level promotion. For example, a staff named Shao, Jinzhao from Foshan city, who was burnt seriously at young age, graduated from South China Normal University, majored in Mathematics, joined Canyou Software in 2008. In July 2008, he applied for administration postition and was approved for a trial in administration office. After half-year observation, his ability was confirmed and soonly promoted to chief director. In the early 2011, he was promoted to be vice-GM of Canyou Group and director of developing center (now he is married and has a son).
 b. Unique Early-Retirement Policy
In 2002, the join of Li Hong who wanted to be Hawking of IT industry brought fresh air for Canyou. However, Li Hong’s health condition was becoming worse, his body and muscle shrank gradually. One day in 2005, only 3 months after his marriage, Li Hong’s disease burst out suddenly and he almost died in operating room. Until now, he could hardly talk, let alone working.  How could Canyou give up a person who had led Canyou into Hi-Tech industry and devoted all himself! ‘Many disabled people have very short life because of worsen genetic diseases, but they still need to realize his value, to live and end his life with respect. Nevertheless, in today’s social insurance system, a person can only receive retirement pension after working for 15 years, and can be laid off legally at anytime, returning home, waiting to die, without dignity.
On account of Li Hong’s case and other similar cases in future, after thorough consideration, Canyou published a unique early-retirement policy, demonstrating utmost care for disabled people from an uncommon social enterprise.
In Canyou’s early-retirement policy, people who retires internally and could no longer work will continue to receive payment equal to the highest salary while he was working. In addition, Canyou  bought medical insurance for clinic and hospitalized treatment for all staffs, so that they can enjoy the same benefit as those with urban household registration. This unique retirement policy has made up the deficiency of social security policy for vulnerable groups, and removed worries about their future. This policy has become an important and stable mainstay of Canyou, together with other benefit policy.   
III.             A Long Way To Go For Disabled People Employment Improvement
A real well-off society could not be reached without happiness of all disabled people. A harmonious society could not be constructed without harmonious life of all disabled people. In Guangdong province, the percentage of disabled people in total population is 5.86%, reaching 5.399 million, living in 4.70 million families, 20.03% of total families. However, road construction and public transportation equipped with non-obstacle facilities are far delayed, increasing the difficulty of disabled people career improvement.
In new economy era, depending on unique advantage in Hi-Tech industry, Canyou has started a revolution of employment for disabled people by ‘Canyou Mode’. Canyou has made enormous progress during 15 years, from five people and one PC to become a nationwide Hi-Tech group company, headquarters in Shenzhen. Besides high economic output, ‘Canyou Mode’ is widely recognized by the government and society. The founder, Mr. Zheng Weining has been honored as ‘China Charity Behavior Model’ every year since 2008, ‘National Self-Reliance Model’, ‘National Model Worker’ and ’30 Outstanding People in Shenzhen in 30 Years’, and has been interviewed by President Hu, Jingtao five times in four years. Internationally, Zheng Weining was invited by 2010 Davos Forum as special guest (only 5 people in the world), to share his experience of social enterprise. Canyou Group was also granted ‘China Social Innovation Award’ , ‘Enterprising Spirit Award’,  ‘Anti-Poverty Innovation Award’.  
Canyou mode gives the society a solution of employment promotion for disabled people.