The wealth concentration of business women and female entrepreneurs in China is a visible phenomenon. This has sparked interest over how rich they are and why they become so rich. In the world list of the richest women, Chinese women outnumber their non-Chinese counterparts. Six out of the top 10 are Chinese women. Hence, we see that wealth is concentrated in the hands of China’s women entrepreneurs. Their average net worth is US$2.6 billion, which exceeds US talk show host Oprah Winfrey’s 2.3 billion and author JK Rowling’s 1 billion.
Top 10 Wealthiest Women in The World: 6 out of 10 are entrepreneurs from China
Who Are the Rich Business Women In China and How Rich?
1. Zhang Yin – Net Worth US$5.3 billion
“Business woman who turns garbage into real cash”
According to Forbes magazine, Zhang Yin now is the world’s richest woman. Zhang Yin, a business woman in China, has been named the “Queen of Trash”. She is the president of Nine Dragons Paper Recycling. Her net worth is estimated to be US$5.3 billion. This is up up by about $1 billion from a year ago. That makes Yin, a 53-year-old former accountant, the richest self-made woman in the world.
2. Wu Ya Jun – Net Worth US$4.1 billion
“Aspiring female entrepreneur in property development”
The property tycoon became strike it rich in China when her firm Longfor listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2009. Overnight, her total worth soared from 12 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) to 27.4 billion yuan. The 46-year-old former engineer has worked briefly as a property reporter in Shanghai before forming Longfor in 1993.
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3. Chan Lihua – Net Worth US$4 billion
“Savvy business woman with a humble upbringing”
The 69 year old property titan was once a Beijing high school drop out. Her family is too poor to support her. Now Chan Lihua is developing properties on Jinbao Street, Beijing’s luxury shopping district. Customers include the Regent Hotel, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Ferrari and Lamborghini. Chan is also curator and founder of China Red Sandalwood Museum. Exchanges between the museum, such as the Smithsonian, have made her a “cultural diplomat.”
4. Xiuli Hawken – Net Worth US $3.2 billion
“Female business leader targets underground opportunities”
This 47 year old business woman has made a fortune out of the concept of underground shopping malls. As China’s urban cities are becoming cramped, underground malls appear to be a viable solution. Xiuli Hawken turned obsolete underground military bunkers into high class fashion boutiques. Her Renhe group is now listed on the Hong Kong exchange. She is a UK citizen and a Chinese literature graduate.
5. Zhang Xin – Net Worth US$2.2 billion
“Western educated entrepreneur teams up with husband to form the almighty business duo”
Zhang Xin founded a real estate business Soho China with her husband in 1995. Last year, she made the biggest land purchase in Beijing, $586 million, by a non-state-owned company. The 44 year-old female entrepreneur has earned a master’s degree in development economics from Cambridge University. She also has experience working at international firms Goldman Sachs and Travelers Group.
Why Business Women and female entrepreneurs in China Become Rich?
This is quite amazing statistics, considering the stereotype of the quiet Asian women who stays at home to care for their families. Women entrepreneurs in China not only have occupied a primary role in decision making in the business world. They have realized phenomenal financial success. Here are the reasons of their success.
- Economic environment – As a developing nation, China has a vast amount of opportunities in many of its growing sectors. Cheap labour and rapidly growing Industries provide significant mobility for women entrepreneurs in China. By reverse, developed nations do not offer as much mobility and opportunity for women.
- Social environment – The government’s one-child policy meant that Chinese women have less children than their western peers. This, of course, means less family work. Moreover, the willingness of in laws or grandparents to provide free childcare give China women the time to pursue their careers.
- Social network – Many business women in China have strong social networks. A study said that 47% of the seed money that female entrepreneurs used was borrowed from friends or family. In China, people are receptive towards lending money to a friend or relative to start a business.
- Ambition – Women in China show a strong determination for success. Some study by the Center for Work-Life Policy found 76% of women in China aspired to top jobs, compared to 52% in the US. In other words, Chinese women are very ambitious and they aim high.
- Communism – Chairman Mao once said “women hold up half the sky”. What underpins communism is the principle of one-party-politics. Although this is at odds with western democracy, a communist regime has its advantages for women. It supports the belief of equality among men and women. In China, women are encouraged to participate fully in society, especially in employment.