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With wealth of 38 billion yuan ($6.12 billion), 48-year-old property developer Wu Yajun was named as China's wealthiest woman by the Hurun Rich Women List 2012 released on Friday in Beijing.
Wu was followed by two other real estate developers - Chan Laiwa, 71, ranked No 2, and, in third place, Yang Huiyan, a 31-year-old who inherited 33 billion yuan in assets from her father, according to the list's publisher Hurun Research Institute.
Membership of this year's exclusive list requires assets of at least 2.8 billion yuan, with the combined wealth of all 50 women amounting to 440.6 billion yuan, down 7.7 percent on the previous year. Their average fortune has decreased 9.3 percent to 8.8 billion yuan.
Rich women's fortunes in China mostly declined due to the weak global economic climate and the nation's sluggish property market.
Wu's personal wealth decreased 10 percent from last year's 42 billion yuan. The assets of Zhang Yin from Nine Dragons Paper (Holdings) Ltd dropped 28.6 percent to 20 billion yuan. Real estate developer Zhang Xin saw her wealth decline 19 percent to 17 billion yuan, according to the list.
Eight of the women on the list are either members of the National People's Congress, the nation's top legislature, or the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body.
Thirty of the women made their own fortunes, including Zhang from Nine Dragons, and property tycoons including Chan from FuWah International and Wu of Longfor Properties, according to the Global Self-made Rich Women List, a sub-list of the Rich Women List.
Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, said the most interesting feature of the Global Self-made Rich Women List is the dominance of wealthy Chinese women.
"Of the top 22 self-made rich women in the world, 11 are from China," said Hoogewerf.
"The numbers are overwhelming. Chinese women in business, are like the Chinese ping-pong team, at the moment, unbeatable."
According to the list, around 30 percent of the self-made rich women are engaged in property development, 20 percent in manufacturing and 14 percent in apparel.
Among the locations where China's richest women built their business empires, Guangdong province was the most popular, followed by Zhejiang province on the east coast, and Beijing.
"Today people are talking about the internationalization of Chinese business," said Hoogewerf. "What is completely international is the women in business."