Monday October 22, 2012
Half of self-made women billionaires from China
HALF of the 22 women on a list of self-made billionaires released last Friday by Shanghai-based Hurun Research Institute are from China.
According to the 2012 Global Self-Made Rich Women List, 48-year-old Longfor Properties Co Ltd chairman Wu Yajun is ranked No. 1 with a fortune of 38 billion yuan (RM18.2bil), followed by 71-year-old Chan Lai Wa of Fu Wah International Group (No. 2), Zhang Yin of Nine Dragons Paper Holdings (No. 4) and Zhang Xin of SOHO China (No. 5).
These four billionaires maintained their top five ranking from last year.
The other top 10 richest women are Spain’s Rosalia Mera of Zara (No. 3), US celebrity Oprah Winfrey (No. 6), American clothing giant The Gap co-founder Doris Fisher (No. 7), Huabao Group chairman Chu Lam Yiu (No. 7), mum-and-daughter pair of Lv Hui and Diana Chen Ningning (No. 9), China Orient Landscape chairman He Qiaonv and Specsavers founder Mary Perkins from Britain (both No. 10).
The minimum wealth requirement for this year’s list is US$1bil (RM3.05bil) and the number of rich women on the list dropped from 28 to 22 with an average wealth of 13.7 billion yuan (RM6.6bil), which was a 6.8% decline from last year.
Rupert Hoogewerf, who is the chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report, which has published the list and several other rich men lists equivalent to Forbes dedicated to China over the past decade, said the most interesting feature of the Global Self-Made Rich Women List was the dominance of wealthy Chinese women.
“The numbers are overwhelming. Chinese women in business, are like the Chinese table tennis team, at the moment, unbeatable.
“Today people are talking about the internationalisation of Chinese business. What is completely international is the women in business,” he said in a statement.
Fortunes of most of the Chinese female billionaires declined due to the weakening of the global economy and China’s sluggish property market.
Wu Yajun’s wealth decreased 10% from last year’s 42 billion yuan (RM20.2bil) while the assets of Zhang Yin and Zhang Xin slumped 28.6% to 20 billion yuan (RM9.6bil) and 19% to 17 billion yuan (RM8.2bil), respectively.
Only Chan Lai Wa, Lv Hui-Diana Chen and He Qiaonv saw increases in their fortunes to 34 billion yuan (RM16bil), 12 billion yuan (RM5.8bil) and 10 billion yuan (RM4.8bil), respectively.
Around 30% of the rich women in the world listed in the Hurun Report are engaged in property development, 20% in manufacturing and 14% in the apparel industry.
Eight of the 11 Chinese women are deputies of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and representatives of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). NPC is China’s top legislative body and CPPCC is its foremost political advisory body.
Also noteworthy is that Wu Yajun and Chan Lai Wa made it to the top 10 of the 2012 China Rich List (for both men and women) released last month.
In its past 14-year history, two women have topped the China Rich List. Zhang Yin was ranked China’s richest person in 2006 with a fortune of US$3bil (RM9bil) while Yang Huiyan inherited US$18bil (RM54bil) in assets from her father at the age of 25 to become the richest the following year.
This year, a total of 251 male and female billionaires in China made the list, albeit down 20 from last year, it was still up by leaps and bounds when there were only 15 billionaires six years ago.