While Oprah certainly is one of the most well-known self-made billionaire women, Wu Yajun of Longfor Properties Co. based in Chongqing municipality is the world’s wealthiest self-made woman.
In the world of self-made billionaire women, China is leading the way. According to a recent report compiled by Hurun Report ranking China’s wealthy, of the 28 self-made female billionaires around the world, 18 came from China. Of the top 10 self-made female billionaires, seven are Chinese. Surprisingly perhaps for some, U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey barely made it to the top ten, with her estimated $2.7 billion fortune putting her as the 8th richest self-made woman in the world.
Rosalia Mera of Spain’s fashion powerhouse Zara came in third with a net worth of $4.5 billion while Benetton clothing’s Guiliana Benetton’s $2.5 billion fortune ranked her in a number 10.
The richest self-made woman in the world is Wu Yajun who is the executive director of Longfor Properties Co., which is based in Chongqing municipality. Yajun’s net worth is estimated to be at around $6.6 billion.
Ranking as China’s second richest woman and 10th richest overall in China with a personal fortune of $5.6 billion was Yang Huiyan of Country Gardens Real Estate. Chen Lihua of Fu Wah International, an industrial investment company, is the third richest self-made woman in the world and the 16th richest person in China with a personal fortune of $5.2 billion.
Four of the top five richest women in China made their fortunes through the country’s blistering real estate market. The average wealth of the top 50 female billionaires in China was $1.5 billion, up 47% from two years ago. The fortunes of 33 women on this year’s top 50 were self-made rather than inherited, compared to 30 last year.
The number of billionaires in China has increased from 189 last year to 271. This puts the number of billionaires in China as second only to the U.S., which has more than 400. Some believe that there are probably more billionaires in China, however many prefer to remain off the radar.