Asia is adorned successful women in different fields of leadership, from business to politics, and education, these women have smashed through stereotypes and are today, an inspiration to the upcoming generation of women leaders across the globe.
Chen Lihua makes the list amongst many successful Asian Amazons in Asia, heading one of Beijing’s largest commercial property developers Fu Wah International Group, she stands out among Asian Amazons in business.
A self-made woman billionaire, Chen started her entrepreneurial journey to riches with nothing, through thick and thin, she kept at it and today, she ranks among the amazing success stories in Asian business. Rising from rags and then rags to riches.
Chen was born into a royal family, but Chen lost the advantages to royalty during her childhood and had to build her own fortune. Born in 1941 in the Summer Palace of Beijing, China, Chen is a descendant of a noble Manchu family of the Yellow Banner which collapsed at the time of her birth, and her family was thrown into poverty due to the fall.
The collapse of Manchu Qing dynasty was as a result of the spread of Japan’s armies across China. Prior to Japan’s armies’ advancement across China, the Qing dynasty had witnessed a major fall 3 decades before. Growing up as a child in the then collapsed Qing dynasty, Chen dropped out school to start up a furniture repair business so that she could beat life at its game.
On the course of this sole decision, she moved to Hong Kong in the early 1980s and started purchasing and reselling furniture. There, in Hong Kong, Chen grew her business into an empire and she was able to gather great wealth which she used to purchase 12 villas.
This move was a phenomenal success in the British colony of that time, and a rare achievement for a mainland migrant.
After settling for a while in Hong Kong, in 1980, she returned to her home country China and continued her activities in the Chinese real estate market, and in the early 1990s, Chan founded the Fu Wah International Group.
She, however, did not pitch her tent in real estate but began to spread her tentacles into other various fields like hospitality, tourism, production, electronics, and production of red sandalwood.
Chen has over the years, worked her way back into the place of wealth and royalty by her efforts. Today, she sits as one of China’s top commercial real estate owners, and one of the richest self-made women billionaires across the globe.
Businesses owned by Chen include the Fu Wah International Group, Beijing, which owns some of the most popular properties, including Jinbao Tower, Regent Beijing, Chang’An Club, Beijing Hong Kong Jockey Club etc.
The China Red Sandalwood Museum, one of the biggest privately-owned museums in the country of China, founded in 1999, on an investment of 20 billion yuan, it covers 25,000 sqm. of the area.
Chen is also popular for her philanthropy and social responsibility works, in 2004, she donated 265 million yuan, and 130 million yuan in 2005 for disaster relief.
She is a mother three, a son and two daughters, Chen is happily married to the Chinese actor Chi Zhongrui and she now resides in her Chinese Red Sandalwood Museum.
Although she has a rich husband, she has not mixed his wealth with hers and has attained her wealth all on herself.
In recent years, Chen Lihua has handed over her business management ventures to her son and prefers to concentrate instead on her museum.
As the popular quote goes – Falling down is a part of life. Getting back up is living.
Chen Lihua leads to a perfect example of getting back up and living.