One of the renowned business magnates in China and the co-founder and CEO of SOHO, Zhang Xin is currently also the biggest real estate developer in Beijing. An alternative to Twitter, Sina Weibo in China has probably more than 8 million online followers of Zhang Xin at present because of her talented entrepreneurship and most powerful business mind.
Born to Burmese and Chinese parents in 1965, Zhang moved to Hong Kong with her mother at the age of 14 years. She worked in many small factories to secure money for her education for almost 5 years. Studying at the University of Sussex, London in Economics, she did her Masters in Development Engineering from the University of Cambridge in 1992. She was honoured with the Doctor of Law honorary from the Sussex University.
After working at the Barings PLC, Zhang shifted to New York and started working for the Goldman Sachs. 2 years later in 1994, she joined the Travelers Group and finally got back to China. It was in 1995, she and her husband, Pan Shiyi founded SOHO, originally known to the common people as Hongshi. SOHO is the largest prime office property in Beijing and Shanghai and is world-famous for their unique iconic building designs made by remarkable architects namely Zaha Hadid Seung H-Sang and Kengo Kuma.
In 2014, the SOHO China Foundation took an initiative of US $100 million for the endowment of financial aids for all ranking universities in the country. The organization has also signed a gift agreement of US $15 in the same year with the Howard University. Another gift agreement of US $10 million was signed with the Yale University.
Zhang’s dedication, devotion and contribution as a patron of architecture along with being a profound and innovation entrepreneur, has won her the Business Weeks Stars of Asia Award in 2004. She also was honoured with a special award at the 8th edition of the La Biennale di Venezia. She was added to the list of “Ten Women to Watch in Asia” in 2007 by the Wall Street Journal. She was also included in the 2008 Forbes list of “Top Ten Billionaire Women We Admire”.
Zhang’s net worth along with her husband as of 2019 was $3.3 billion. She is credited with bringing charm and colour to the cityscape of Beijing starting her life in a monochromatic world. A girl with a dull childhood and life full of hardships could make such a glorified future, was hardly in anyone’s belief. She is rightly called the woman who stands as the pillar of Beijing.
Currently, Zhang’s family’s net worth is $3.6 billion, making her one of the richest in the entire world let alone China. Zhang is also the chairwoman of Tech for China Board of Directors and is considered richer than Queen Elizabeth!
Today, not only Zhang is influential but her journey from scratch to the present is a pure example of showing how the impossible be made possible.