"I read about Bill Gates before I had ever even seen a computer," said Dong Ruidong, who abandoned his rural village for the bright lights and cybercafes of the Chinese capital. "Even in the remotest villages of China, Gates is one of the most popular figures alive."
The Chinese edition of Gates' The Road Ahead "was one of the most successful books in our history," said Wang Mingzhou, who edited the Chinese edition. It is "among the most important works published since the founding of the People's Republic of China."
Wang, who rode the success of Gates' book to be named president of the Peking University Press, said The Road Ahead "helped launch the internet revolution across China, and gave it power and speed."
"Bill Gates is without doubt now one of the most influential foreigners in China," Wang said.