When Shang himself was circumcised back in 2002, it was a traumatic experience. At that time, the procedure was being widely promoted on TV and billboards that claimed the surgery was pain-free and easy to recover from, but Shang found himself bedridden for more than two weeks and in great agony.
He asked himself why a simple circumcision procedure was so painful when the world's medical technology was so advanced. As he lay in bed, he decided to bring about a change.
Using his early working experience as a carpenter and later in Wuhu's mapping and surveying office, Shang devoted his time to perfecting what would become the ShangRing.
For Shang, drawing up the plans for the device was an easy task. To alleviate patients' pain, the key is to avoid sewing of wounds. He then came up with the idea of using two concentric plastic rings that would let the foreskin fall off naturally. After successfully testing it on animals, he tried to sell his idea to doctors.
Compared with traditional circumcision methods, which can take half an hour, the ShangRing can reduce the operation time to five minutes in clinics. The patient only needs to return one week after the operation to have the device removed.
From 2003 to 2005, Shang traveled from Wuhu to Beijing 80 times in search of investors to commercialize the ShangRing, but without success.
However, Shang said he had a strong faith at the time that the ShangRing could become a market success, so he quit his job and started his own company.
The turning point came when Philip Li, a doctor and professor of urology at Cornell University who believed in the ShangRing's medical value, got in touch with Shang.
It's reported that Li and his colleagues conducted a series of clinical trials and research into the ShangRing for years in China and Africa. The trials demonstrated that the ShangRing is highly effective in lowering the HIV/AIDS infection risk.
Li published papers in international journals that further testified to the medical value of the ShangRing.