Chinese recycling tycoon is world’s richest woman

// 14 October 2006

If all the predictions are right, and China is going to be the superpower of the 21st century, it is probably a very good sign that its richest citizen is a woman, and she made her money through a recycling business.

The Independent reports that Zhang Yin is also the world’s richest self-made woman.

Nine Dragons Paper, the business Yin founded, buys scrap paper from the US for use in China.

“She is the wealthiest self-made woman in the world,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, a researcher who has been compiling the rich list for seven years. Her fortune trumps that of US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey and the Harry Potter creator J K Rowling. Her wealth was estimated at £202m last year, but the share price of Nine Dragons has tripled since she listed her company on the Hong Kong stock exchange and the market for recycled products is growing at a furious pace.

And Yin is not the only woman sky-rocketing up the rich list:

Other women on the list include Chen Ningning, a metals trader, who with her mother, Lu Hui, is 19th on the list, with wealth of £438m. Beijing property developer Chen Lihua (£404m) and the television-presenter-turned-businesswoman Yang Lan of SunMedia Investments (£270m) also feature.

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