He was a Chinese palaeontologist and palaeoanthropologist.
Chengzhi made the plaster casts of the Peking Man skull in the 1930s, and identified the Yuanmou Man (Homo erectus yuanmouensis) based on fossils collected by others.
He discovered the first fossil of Keichousaurus in 1957, and this species, K. hui, is named after him. A new hadrosaur discovered in Shandong is designated Shantungosaurus giganteus by Hu in 1973.
Chengzhi left school at 13 due to poverty, and worked at Peking Union Medical College as Davidson Black’s assistant.
After Black died in 1934, Chengzhi became an apprentice technician for fixing fossils at Franz Weidenreich’s laboratory.
He made cast copies of Peking Man’s skull, and he was the last Chinese eyewitness of the Peking Man fossils, before they were lost during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Chengzhi resigned from the institute in 1947.
In the early 1950s, he began to work at the Ministry of Geology.
Chengzhi died in Beijing on 12 April 2018, aged 100