China’s Lanxiang Institute of Technology Rocked by its President’s Family In-Fighting, Alleged Illegalities

For the past decade, China’s Shandong Lanxiang Vocational School in Jinan has been embroiled in a series of scandals involving its wealthy president, Rong Lanxiang. Rong’s family is known locally for their retaliatory in-fighting and illegal activities. The school’s scandals include accusations of cybercrimes targeting U.S. companies on behalf of the Chinese regime (CCP) and military.Background and CCP Military Ties Rong Lanxiang grew up poor on a farm in the eastern half of Shandong province. He later became an entrepreneur skilled in painting and sofa making. With the help of his future wife, Kong Suying, and a loan from her veteran father, Rong founded a small vocational school in 1984 that taught painting, sofa making, and sewing. His rise to wealth didn’t begin until 1988 when his school was purchased by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and named the 55151 Army Lanxiang Vocational and Technical College. After the sale, Rong remained with the school and benefitted financially due to the endless supply of students provided by the military. Then in 1997, the Central Military Commission changed its policies to prevent the army from engaging in commercial enterprises. The school was returned to Rong who made a fortune, which he used to buy property and expand the school’s campus. By 2002, after experiencing tremendous growth and specializing in computer technology, Rong’s school became China’s largest vocational college capable of training nearly 30,000 students annually. Today, Rong’s personal wealth is estimated to be one billion yuan (about $148 million). Although the PLA had decoupled from Rong’s school, the name remained, and training continued for military members and veterans. In February 2010, a New York Times article claimed the Army Lanxiang Vocational and Technical College was established with the support of the CCP and its military. According to U.S.-based investigators, the school was involved in cybercrimes against Google and dozens of other U.S. companies. In March of the same year, Google China announced its decision to withdraw from the Chinese market due to “hacking attacks” and “network censorship” in China. The school admitted to having ties to the CCP and military but denied it was involved in hacking. Suspicions regarding the alleged hacking were reignited in June the following year when Google claimed a source in Jinan had illegally penetrated the Gmail accounts of several hundred prominent people. Also in 2011, a second Wall Street Journal article quoted U.S. cybersecurity experts as saying the Lanxiang Vocational School in Jinan was a source of targeted attacks on U.S. defense contractors. After weathering these accusations, Rong reaffirmed his school’s decoupling from the military by changing its name in 2017 to the Lanxiang Institute of Technology. But as this article shows, this would not resolve all the problems Rong’s success had brought on him, his marriage, children, and in-laws. Rong Family In-Fighting The long-term drama surrounding the Rong family is worthy of a Netflix series. In 2014, after 30 years in business together and raising six children in violation of China’s one-child policy, Rong and his wife Kong finalized their divorce. She claimed she was a long-term victim of domestic abuse, that Rong had many extramarital affairs, and Rong was openly living with his mistress. Central to the couple’s dispute was their inability to agree on a divorce settlement of the 351 properties in a subdivision they jointly owned in Shangqiu City, Henan Province. Known as the Tianlun Garden, the subdivision consists of four 12-story buildings. They were built at a cost of $27 million by the Shangdong Lanxiang Real Estate Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lanxiang Institute. At the time of the divorce, the estimated value of the properties had risen to $180 million. Shangqiu City happened to be Kong’s hometown and her 70-year-old father lived in the subdivision to help watch over the properties. Due to the pending divorce, Rong feared his father-in-law would take ownership of the properties and sell his assets. To prevent this, Rong petitioned the court to freeze 300 million yuan (about $45 million) linked to both his and his wife’s bank accounts and properties, including the Tianlun Garden subdivision. The court responded in September of 2014 by issuing a ruling to seize the Tianlun Garden subdivision. After learning about the ruling, Rong had buses deliver 90 of his school’s staff and students to the subdivision with orders to “take over” the property. Rong’s buses were greeted by dozens of angry people from Kong’s side of the family. Their disagreement erupted into physical fights where over 100 people were swinging shovels and steel pipes and throwing rocks and bricks at each other. The violence ended after police arrived. By then, several people had been injured and Kong’s father was hospitalized. Retaliation and Prison Sentences This inter-provincial armed

China’s Lanxiang Institute of Technology Rocked by its President’s Family In-Fighting, Alleged Illegalities

For the past decade, China’s Shandong Lanxiang Vocational School in Jinan has been embroiled in a series of scandals involving its wealthy president, Rong Lanxiang. Rong’s family is known locally for their retaliatory in-fighting and illegal activities. The school’s scandals include accusations of cybercrimes targeting U.S. companies on behalf of the Chinese regime (CCP) and military.

Background and CCP Military Ties

Rong Lanxiang grew up poor on a farm in the eastern half of Shandong province. He later became an entrepreneur skilled in painting and sofa making. With the help of his future wife, Kong Suying, and a loan from her veteran father, Rong founded a small vocational school in 1984 that taught painting, sofa making, and sewing. His rise to wealth didn’t begin until 1988 when his school was purchased by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and named the 55151 Army Lanxiang Vocational and Technical College.

After the sale, Rong remained with the school and benefitted financially due to the endless supply of students provided by the military. Then in 1997, the Central Military Commission changed its policies to prevent the army from engaging in commercial enterprises. The school was returned to Rong who made a fortune, which he used to buy property and expand the school’s campus.

By 2002, after experiencing tremendous growth and specializing in computer technology, Rong’s school became China’s largest vocational college capable of training nearly 30,000 students annually. Today, Rong’s personal wealth is estimated to be one billion yuan (about $148 million).

Although the PLA had decoupled from Rong’s school, the name remained, and training continued for military members and veterans. In February 2010, a New York Times article claimed the Army Lanxiang Vocational and Technical College was established with the support of the CCP and its military. According to U.S.-based investigators, the school was involved in cybercrimes against Google and dozens of other U.S. companies. In March of the same year, Google China announced its decision to withdraw from the Chinese market due to “hacking attacks” and “network censorship” in China.

The school admitted to having ties to the CCP and military but denied it was involved in hacking.

Suspicions regarding the alleged hacking were reignited in June the following year when Google claimed a source in Jinan had illegally penetrated the Gmail accounts of several hundred prominent people. Also in 2011, a second Wall Street Journal article quoted U.S. cybersecurity experts as saying the Lanxiang Vocational School in Jinan was a source of targeted attacks on U.S. defense contractors.

After weathering these accusations, Rong reaffirmed his school’s decoupling from the military by changing its name in 2017 to the Lanxiang Institute of Technology. But as this article shows, this would not resolve all the problems Rong’s success had brought on him, his marriage, children, and in-laws.

Rong Family In-Fighting

The long-term drama surrounding the Rong family is worthy of a Netflix series. In 2014, after 30 years in business together and raising six children in violation of China’s one-child policy, Rong and his wife Kong finalized their divorce. She claimed she was a long-term victim of domestic abuse, that Rong had many extramarital affairs, and Rong was openly living with his mistress.

Central to the couple’s dispute was their inability to agree on a divorce settlement of the 351 properties in a subdivision they jointly owned in Shangqiu City, Henan Province. Known as the Tianlun Garden, the subdivision consists of four 12-story buildings. They were built at a cost of $27 million by the Shangdong Lanxiang Real Estate Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Lanxiang Institute. At the time of the divorce, the estimated value of the properties had risen to $180 million.

Shangqiu City happened to be Kong’s hometown and her 70-year-old father lived in the subdivision to help watch over the properties. Due to the pending divorce, Rong feared his father-in-law would take ownership of the properties and sell his assets. To prevent this, Rong petitioned the court to freeze 300 million yuan (about $45 million) linked to both his and his wife’s bank accounts and properties, including the Tianlun Garden subdivision.

The court responded in September of 2014 by issuing a ruling to seize the Tianlun Garden subdivision. After learning about the ruling, Rong had buses deliver 90 of his school’s staff and students to the subdivision with orders to “take over” the property.

Rong’s buses were greeted by dozens of angry people from Kong’s side of the family. Their disagreement erupted into physical fights where over 100 people were swinging shovels and steel pipes and throwing rocks and bricks at each other. The violence ended after police arrived. By then, several people had been injured and Kong’s father was hospitalized.

Retaliation and Prison Sentences

This inter-provincial armed struggle was a sensation for quite some time. Four people from the Lanxiang School and four from the Kong family were sentenced by the court for group fighting. Rong was awarded ownership of the Tianlun Garden subdivision, and from then on, his rivalry with Kong escalated into pure hatred, marked by vicious and threatening behavior.

The disgruntled Kong took her battle with Rong public. In November of 2014, she sent letters to government officials detailing Rong’s long-term domestic abuse. She referred to his possession of several different identity cards, his marital infidelities, keeping a mistress, and fathering more than one child out of wedlock.

Rong became infuriated by his ex-wife’s letters. He denied the accusations of domestic violence and marital infidelity, but he could not escape having multiple children and three different identity cards. For these reasons, Rong was forced to resign from a position he held with the CCP’s National People’s Congress.

Rong retaliated in 2017 by bringing charges against Kong for violating the court’s ruling to seize the Tianlun Garden. Kong had sold 145 units of the subdivision after the ruling was issued. Kong and three of her daughters who signed the sales contracts were all found guilty of the charge and were sent to jail. Kong was sentenced to 2 years and 3 months in a Henan Province prison.

As she exited prison in April 2020, Kong was met by police and arrested on the spot for the same crime. She was sentenced to nine months in a Shandong Province prison.

After three years in prison, Kong was not deterred from attempting to get back at Rong. In October of 2021, she publicly alleged Rong had evaded paying taxes on 1.36 million yuan (about $201,000) of income earned from his Shandong Lanxian Real Estate firm. Rong was ordered to pay the taxes which to him were insignificant given his massive wealth.

Rong did not immediately retaliate against Kong for disclosing his tax evasion. But what happened next was unimaginable for the people observing the evolving Lanxiang family drama.

On April 27, 2022, Rong Ting, one of Rong’s daughters who had been imprisoned with Kong, posted a video online claiming that her mother was untruthful to the court when she was tried for illegally selling the Tianlun Garden units. What she didn’t tell the court, said Rong Ting, was she was planning to use her U.S. green card to transfer assets from the sales abroad.

Although Rong Ting’s claim has not been verified, it posed a serious threat to her mother’s future. Speaking publicly, a tearful Kong said she never expected her daughter would do such a thing. She suspects her daughter’s disloyalty must have been coerced in some way by Kong’s ex-husband.

May Madness

The story does not end there. On May 4, Kong Suying posted a scathing internet video that hit the top of the viewership charts that day. She is seen holding her identity card and accusing her ex-husband, Rong Lanxiang, of possessing guns, raping women, and organizing cross-provincial fights with evil forces. The latter was referencing Rong’s busloads of school staff and students he sent to the Tianlun Garden scuffle.

Then, on May 6, Kong posted another video alleging her ex-husband had misused the powers of his position within the Chinese Communist Party. She claimed he illegally had six people hired as national civil servants without diplomas, or political or medical examinations. She said she has hard evidence of the claims but will only share it with the judiciary. To demonstrate her resolve, she said if her accusations prove to be untrue, she is willing to suffer any legal consequences.

Rong Lanxiang has not responded publicly to his ex-wife’s videos. When The Epoch Times called the Lanxiang Institute for comment, the person answering the phone said, “the president is not in” and would not provide his contact information. When asked about the damaging videos, the person said they were not sure.


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Shawn Lin is a Chinese expatriate living in New Zealand. He has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2009, with a focus on China-related topics.