Jeff Bezos is at the top of the table Forbes 2021 billionaires. The CEO of Amazon is followed by Elon Musk and the French Bernard Arnault, respectively ranked second and third fortunes. The first Chinese businessman in the ranking, Zhong Shanshan, occupies only 13th place. If in 2019 China overtook the United States in number of billionaires, the richest men in the world remain Americans … but on the women’s side, the Chinese dominate. China has 85 women billionaires.
According to the South China Morning Post which is based on a study by Hurun, the two richest women in the world are Chinese: Yang Huiyan and Zhong Huijuan. Yang Huiyan’s fortune, estimated at $ 34 billion, comes from his real estate company Country Garden founded by his father. Zhong Huijuan started a company in the pharmaceutical industry at the age of 34, which she still chairs. Zhong Huijuan has accumulated $ 15.3 billion.
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Not present in the first places of the world ranking, but ranked fifth among the richest women in China, Zhou Qunfei represents the female gender within the tech world. At 22, Zhou Qunfei created Lens Technology, a digital device display company that counts Apple, Samsung, and Huawei as customers. The fortune of the now 51-year-old woman stands at 12.5 billion euros. Lens Technology’s reputation, however, is marred by recent accusations of forced labor on thousands of Uyghurs.
Although this ranking is encouraging regarding the place of women in Chinese society, progress remains to be made. Indeed, the one-child policy, repealed in 2015, associated with the dowry system to be paid by the bride’s family during a union, led to an imbalance between the number of women and men within of the Middle Kingdom. A situation which leads to cases of human trafficking.
A 2019 Human Rights Watch report reveals that Burmese women are sold for between $ 3,000 and $ 13,000 to Chinese families. In the fall of 2020, a video from the Chinese news agency Xinhua extolling marriage between Burmese and Chinese has been widely criticized by associations fighting against human trafficking. “Cases of human trafficking to China are increasing every year”, says the director of the Htoi foundation, an association of Burmese civil society.