Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Girl Power in the People's Republic of China: They Dominate the World's Richest Self-made Women

And you thought Oprah was rich..... she barely makes it in the top ten richest self-made women in the world. The elite group is now dominated by Chinese women, who hold the top three positions, four out of the top five and more than half of the top twenty (see chart above).  

What would Mao say today? "Let a hundred billionaires blossom in China...."  There are actually now 400-500 billionaires in China according to this source, the largest number of any country in the world.  And what a difference 10 years makes - ten years ago there were only 24 Chinese worth a billion yuan or more ($150 million), there are now almost 1,400.


At 10/13/2010 7:52 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

The success of women in China is not all that surprising.

When I worked in China I was shocked to find that the majority of the engineers and planners that ran manufacturing shops at the Xi'an Aircraft Company were women. And when I walked around it was also shocking to find the huge proportion of sheet metal workers and assemblers that were women in compared to what I was used to in Canada or the US.

What I found really interesting are the attitude differences. While many of the women in Canada or the US were not respected because they were (sometimes unfairly) seen as having gained their positions by affirmative action programs there was not such attitude in China where positions were won on the basis of objective competitions in which candidates were tested for positions that they were applying to.

Let me clarify my position by pointing out that it still helps to be a man in China and that men have it easier. But in China the merit based systems actually give women much better opportunities than the progressive programs in most Western countries.

At 10/14/2010 9:05 AM, Blogger QT said...


Interesting observations. Thanx


Why quote Mao whose policies created grinding poverty and political repressionpolitical repression? Isn't it fair to say that the economic rise of China is largely due to the policies of Deng Xiaping? The increase in the number of billionaires attests to the economic opportunities created by the emergence of a market economy than those created under Maoist communism.

As Deng said "It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice."
"It doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice."

At 10/14/2010 9:19 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Why quote Mao whose policies created grinding poverty and political repression...

I believe that Mark was being ironic. Mao never had much time for billionaires. I am assuming that Mark is referring to the slogan, "Let a hundred flowers bloom: let a hundred schools of thought contend." It was the driving force behind one of Mao's stupid campaigns, which turned out to be a great way to stifle dissent and get Mao's political enemies thrown in jail.

I believe that you are absolutely right about Deng. He was responsible for elevating the standard of living for more than a billion people by simply recognizing that individuals looking to further their own interests by responding to price signals make better plans than the most intelligent bureaucrats who distort the price mechanism in the economy.

At 10/14/2010 10:16 AM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

The world's wealthiest woman, Zhang Yin, is known as the Queen of Trash. She started out with $3500 and drove around the U.S. in a used mini-van buying scrap paper and carboard. Her U.S. subsidary has been the biggest exporter, by volume, to China. Her other nickname is Dragonlady but she would prefer Queen of Containerboard.


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