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October 16, 2009

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Mainland women take lead role in world riches

CHINESE entrepreneurs now account for half of the world's 10 wealthiest females, according to the annual Hurun list of the richest women on the Chinese mainland.

Zhang Yin topped the mainland list with personal wealth of 33 billion yuan (US$4.83 billion). She was followed by Yang Huiyan of property developer Country Garden Holdings and Chen Lihua of the conglomerate Fu Wah International Group. Last year, Yang took the top spot followed by Zhang and Chen.

Zhang, who made her fortune with her company, Nine Dragons Paper, which recycles paper into cardboard boxes, also placed second on this year's Hurun Rich List, which ranked the Chinese mainland's top 1,000 entrepreneurs.

"Chinese women now lead the world's richest self-made women," said Rupert Hoogewerf, who compiles the annual list.

He did not release specific information on exactly how the Chinese woman compared with their Western counterparts.

The average wealth on the list of 51 members was estimated at 6.6 billion yuan, up 1.5 billion yuan from last year, and the average age was 46. Most of those on the list, which was released yesterday, made their fortunes from property or the finance and investment sectors.

Many of them located their headquarters in south China's Guangdong Province.

They made their fortunes in four main ways: by themselves, such as Zhang; with a husband, which includes Zhang Xin, wife of Pan Shiyi of SOHO China, and Zhang Yunqin, wife of Yan Jiehe of China Pacific Construction; with their family or through inheritance.

Earlier this week, the annual Hurun Rich List found that the average wealth of the Chinese mainland's richest 1,000 people grew 30 percent to US$571 million in the past 12 months.

Despite the challenging times, the number of known US-dollar billionaires on the mainland has grown to 130, up from 101 last year.


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