Chinese women are apparently at the height of their power with eight of them making it onto Forbes annual list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” two more than last year.
Once again, China’s most powerful woman is 43-year-old Chongqing native Lucy Peng (Peng Lei), co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and CEO of Alibaba’s Ant Financial Services, coming in at #35 on the list. Last year, she was ranked as the third wealthiest woman in tech in the world, with a personal fortune of $1.2 billion.
Nipping at her heels is 68-year-old Hong Kong-born Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization since 2006. Her ranking is all the way up from #62 last year to #38 this year, presumably because of all the new health problems in the world.
Just behind her at #42 is another Hong Kong woman, Pollyanna Chu, chief executive of Kingston Securities, which she cofounded with her husband, Nicholas.
Moving up ten spots from last year is China’s first lady Peng Liyuan, now the 58th most powerful woman in the world, according to Forbes. In this past year, Peng has continued to use her platform as a UNESCO ambassador for women’s education to speak up for giving all kids access to education. Her true power was on display last October when photos of her make-up fail were censored on Weibo and the Queen was forced to accept two of her CDs.
Another Hong Kong newcomer is Zhou Qunfei at #61. The founder of Lens Technology, Zhou has been called the world’s richest self-made woman. Born in an impoverished farming village in Hunan province in central China, Zhou now holds a Hong Kong passport and is reported be worth $7.8 billion.
At #63 is Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree Electric, a company that is known for manufacturing air-conditioners, but is branching out into smart home appliances under Dong’s direction. The New York Times has called her “one of the toughest businesswomen in China.”
Back in the mainland, Wang Feng Ying, CEO of the Great Wall Motor Company, China’s third largest automaker, joins the list at #69.
The final Chinese woman on the list was once again Hong Kong businesswoman Solina Chau, a business partner in the Cheung Kong Group and director of the Li Ka Shing Foundation.
Missing from this year’s list was China’s favorite rags-to-riches story, Zhang Xin, co-founder and CEO of SOHO China. Possibly she fell out this year because not even she knows how much she’s worth.
Sadly, Chinese celeb Yao Chen was also absent this time around. Apparently 79 million followers on Weibo just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Oh, and Taiwan’s new president, Tsai Ing-wen, is back on the list, skyrocketing all the way up to #17.
Once again, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was ranked as the most powerful woman in the world for the sixth year running. Next up is Hillary Clinton, Janet Yellen, Melinda Gates and Mary Barra.
Margaret Chan was the only Chinese woman to make Forbes “The World’s Most Powerful People” list last November.