Woman tops list of China's richest
Updated: 2006-10-11 15:42
A woman has topped a list of China's richest people for the first time,
elbowing past two-time leader Huang Guangyu of GOME Electrical Appliances and a
coterie of CEOs at old-economy government enterprises.
billionaire Cheung Yan -- the 49 year-old founder and chairwoman of top
Chinese paper packager Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd. -- saw her fortune
balloon nine-fold to US$3.4 billion boosted by her firm's March initial public
The entrepreneur, who
controlled 72 percent of Nine Dragons as of August 31, has lapped up a 165
percent rally in the company's stock, according to an annual survey compiled by
Rupert Hoogewerf, who pioneered a list for Forbes.
Ms. Cheung Yan, founder and
chairwoman of top Chinese paper packager Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings)
Ltd. [File photo]
Cheung's stellar ascent is rare in a country whose largest corporations
are state-owned or run by well-connected male executives.
Decades after Mao Zedong famously remarked that women "hold up half the
sky," academics continue to point out the inadequacy of women's rights.
"China's women are becoming more visible in business," said Hoogewerf, who
has published the list since 1999.
"Traditionally women have always been on the inside and men have been on the
outside. It hasn't been until the economic reforms that women have actually
started to make inroads into the public arena."
Cheung, born in Northeastern
China's Heilongjiang Province and now a Los Angeles native, began building her
fortune in 1985, when she set up a waste-paper trading business in Hong Kong.
Ms Cheung yan
She later became the top exporter of scrap paper by volume in the United
States, processing the paper in China to make containerboard.
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