China is leading the ranks of female billionaires. Rupert Hoogewerf, chief researcher of the Hurun China Rich List gives a few reasons why women are doing better on his list. One of them is the one-child policy, he tells Caixin.
Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, said one reason so many women strike it rich on the Chinese mainland is the traditional family structure. “The one-child policy coupled with traditional child care, whereby grandparents often play a much larger role in bringing up children than in developed countries,” has given women more space to pursue their ambitions, he said…
According to Hoogewerf, one challenge in calculating the wealth of female billionaires is the difficulty in distinguishing between the wealth that belongs to a woman and her husband, especially in the case of women who had co-founded a business with a husband.
An example of this is Zhou Hongwen, 46, who co-founded Tomorrow Group with Xiao Jianhua. The conglomerate has investments in real estate, insurance, banking, coal, cement and rare earth minerals, and the couple is estimated to be worth $5.5 billion. Although Zhou was instrumental in the company’s early decision to invest in the Inner Mongolia region, its stock exchange filings do not differentiate who owns what, making it difficult to split the couple’s wealth, Hoogewerf said. And the recent disappearance of Xiao from the couple’s apartment in Hong Kong, presumably to help Chinese authorities with an ongoing corruption inquiry, has put Zhou in the spotlight and may affect her fortunes.