China dominates the ranks of the world’s most successful women, claiming four out of the top five spots, while its share of “self-made” women has also risen to 77 per cent, according to the Hurun Richest Women in China 2018 report, which was released on Tuesday.
Yang Huiyan, 37, of Country Garden, which is China’s largest developer by sales, is the most wealthy. She has benefited from a family inheritance and is worth 150 billion yuan (US$22.4 billion).
American businesswoman Diane Hendricks, 71, who owns and is the chairperson of ABC Supply, is the only non-Chinese among the top five.
Wu Yajun, 54, who owns Chongqing-based developer Longfor Properties, topped the self-made women’s list, with her personal fortune growing by 11 per cent over past year to 58.5 billion yuan (US$8.73 billion).
The top four richest Chinese women also include Chen Lihua of commercial property developer Fu Wah International, with a fortune of 50.5 billion yuan, and Zhou Qunfei of touch screen maker Lens Technology, who is worth 38.5 billion yuan.
“Chinese women just account for a fifth of the world’s women, but make up 63 per cent of the world’s most successful women,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher at Hurun Report.
“A lot of people ask me why. I think a lot of credit goes to China’s reform and opening up, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Chinese women.”
The share of women who had benefited from an inheritance declined this year to 23 per cent from 32 per cent last year.
And some female billionaires’ wealth has also dropped significantly this year as a slowing economy, stock market volatility and the US-China trade war take their toll.
Yang, the richest woman in China, saw her fortune shrink by 6 per cent this year, as weak sentiment hurt the stock price of Country Garden, which declined by 38 per cent between a peak in early 2018 to August 15, the period covered by the report.
Zhou, who rose to prominence last year after establishing the touch screen maker Lens Technology and listing it in Shenzhen, saw her wealth slump by 45 per cent due to the rout in stock prices.