China tops world for richest women


y Anna Lu | October 20, 2015,

CHINA is the biggest creator of self-made dollar billionaire women this year, with Chinese touchscreen queen Zhou Qunfei leading the pack with 50 billion yuan (US$7.8 billion) in personal wealth, the Hurun Richest Self-Made Women in the World 2015 report released yesterday shows.

The list saw the women’s ultra wealth club expand at its fastest pace yet, up almost 50 percent over last year to include 73 dollar billionaires as of August 14. Forty-nine, including eight in the top 10, live in China, a country that “is setting the global benchmark for women in business,” according to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun’s chairman and chief researcher.

By comparison, the US ranks second with 15 living there, followed by the UK with three.

Almost unknown at this time last year, Zhou shot up to first place worldwide after her company Lens, a leading supplier for Apple and Samsung, went public on the ChiNext board.

She replaced property queen Chen Lihua not only as the richest self-made woman in the world, but also the richest Chinese woman, according to the Hurun Richest Women in China 2015 which also includes rich heiresses.

Chen ranks second on both lists, with 49.5 billion yuan in assets. She was followed by Wu Yajun, a co-founder of Longfor Properties with 27 billion yuan, and Yang Huiyan, a Country Garden heiress, with 40.5 billion yuan.

Real estate continues to be the biggest money spinner for rich women in China, with up to a quarter of them involved in the sector though that is down 3 percentage points from last year. Manufacturing rises in status by 4 percentage points to 15 percent, ranking second on a par with finance and investments.

China’s contribution in making the world’s richest women is even bigger than its apparent share as two self-made dollar billionaires abroad have Chinese roots.

Peggy Cherng of Chinese fast food brand Panda Express was brought up in Hong Kong before relocating to the United States, where she started Panda Express with her husband. And Australian telecoms queen Vicky Teoh of TPG was born in Taiwan before moving abroad and finally settling down in Australia where the company started.

“Cherng and Teoh were born or brought up in China, suggesting that China has contributed to 70 percent of the world’s most successful women today,” Hoogewerf said in the report.


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