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The Big Story

Top of their game: 9 of the most influential women in Asian tech

From the world's richest self-made woman to China's queen of ride-hailing

Jean Liu, president of Didi Chuxing (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

As part of the Nikkei Asian Review's special report on Women in Asian tech, here are snapshots of some of the richest and most powerful female leaders in the industry.

Zhou Qunfei

Founder, CEO of Lens Technology

Zhou was born in China's Hunan Province in 1970 and worked on the factory floor as a teenager. She founded Lens Technology, now a major touchscreen supplier to Apple, in Shenzhen in 2003. She had a net worth of $6.5 billion as of July 24, making her the world's richest self-made woman, according to Forbes. Katherine Creel


Grace Wang Laichun

Founder and Chair of Luxshare-ICT

Grace Wang Laichun was born in China’s Guangdong Province in 1967 and worked as an assembly operator at Foxconn Technology Group’s factory in Shenzhen in 1988, the year the Taiwanese company set up its first manufacturing facility in China. Wang left Foxconn and founded her own business with her brother in 1999; their first client was Foxconn. She launched Luxshare in 2004 and listed the company on  the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010. Today it is one of the key assemblers for Apple’s wireless AirPod earpieces. Apple CEO Tim Cook praised Wang's entrepreneurship as a “realization of the Chinese dream.” Lauly Li


Tan Hooi Ling

Co-founder and COO of Grab (Originally MyTeksi)

A native of Malaysia, Tan earned an engineering degree from the University of Bath and an MBA from Harvard, where she met Grab’s co-founder. Before launching the Singapore-based ride hailing app, Tan was a McKinsey consultant and worked for Tan, 32, oversees Grab’s business strategy and growth, analytics, customer experience and personnel  operations. Grab's funding round in 2017 raised $ 2 billion, led by SoftBank and Didi Chuxing. Mei Futonaka


Sun Yafang

Former Chairperson of Huawei Technologies

Sun Yafang joined the Chinese tech giant as an engineer in the marketing and sales department in 1989 and became the chairperson since 1999. Sun, who keeps a low profile, led the Forbes of  China’s top 100 businesswomen in 2018. She resigned from the chair in March after 19 years leading the company, but the company says she will continue to play an important role in corporate management. Lauly Li


Jean Liu

President of Didi Chuxing

A native of China, Liu, 40, studied at Peking University and earned a master’s degree in computer science at Harvard. After a decade at Goldman Sachs, Liu joined Didi in 2014 as chief operating officer. During Liu’s tenure, Didi secured investments from all three of China’s largest internet service companies -- Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. It also bought Uber’s China operations in China and has announced a joint venture with the Japan’s Softbank. Liu is also on the boards of La Chapelle Fashion and China IKang Healthcare. Mei Futonaka


Lucy Peng

Chief executive of Lazada

A self-made billionaire and one of the founders of Alibaba Group Holding, Peng served as of chief executive of its payment arm Alipay and later as executive chairman of affiliate Ant Financial. In March she was named chief executive of Lazada, the Singapore-based e-commerce company owned by Alibaba. Katherine Creel


Dong Mingzhu

Chairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances

Dong joined Gree,  the world’s largest air-conditioning manufacturer, in 1990 as a saleswoman to support her family after her husband died. She rose up the company, assuming the top job in 2001. Her leadership of the group since has earned her the moniker "China's Iron Lady." In 2017, Dong topped Forbes China’s list of 100 outstanding businesswomen and The New York Times called her “one of the toughest businesswomen in China”. Nikki Sun

Lora Ho

Senior vice president, chief financial officer of TSMC

Ho was named CFO of TSMC, the world’s biggest contract chipmaker controlling  in 2003. Since then, she has overseen $85 billion of capital spending; the company expects to spend another $10 billion this year. During her tenure, TSMC’s revenue has surged 381% -- and profit has skyrocketed by 626%.

Ho has been named Best CFO in the industry several times. Ching Teng-Fang

Lam Wai Ying

Chairman, co-owner of Biel Crystal Manufactory

Hong Kong-based Biel, a major supplier of touch screens to Apple, employs more than 100,000 people in mainland China. Forbes puts Lam's net worth at $5.4 billion as of July 24.  


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