Zhou Qunfei was born in 1970 and has established herself in the manufacturing industry after founding Lens Technology, one of the world’s major manufacturers of touchscreens. She is known as one of China’s richest self-made women.
While attending Shenzhen University where she took part-time courses, she worked for companies that were close to the university. During her studies, she earned certifications in accounting, computer operations, customs processing and even learned how to drive commercial vehicles.
Growing up, she had dreamed of becoming a fashion designer but found herself working for a small firm run by a family which specialized in making watch parts. With an earning of 180 Yuan per month, she was not satisfied with the working conditions and tendered her resignation just after three months with reasons why she could no longer continue with the firm. Impressed with her resignation letter, the factory chief offered her a promotion instead.
After some time, the factory folded and with the encouragement of her cousin, she went on to start up her own company in 1993 at the age of 22. The business started off as a family business with her brother, sister, their spouses and two cousins all working out of a three-bedroom apartment.
The new company worked towards providing customers with high-quality lenses for their watches with her looking into more advanced designs for the factory’s machinery.
Her growing company was then put on the map when in 2001 it gained a contract from Chinese electronics company, TCL Corporation to make screens for mobile phones. Now, she has started almost 11 new companies.
Business was beginning to pick up for her while she still produced watch lenses as she was approached by Motorola to design and develop glass screens for the Razr V3 mobile editions. This was during the transition in mobile phone technology from plastic to glass display screens.
Following this huge milestone, she decided to establish Lens Technology in 2003. She had chosen the name “lens” for the company so that it would easily turn up on searches when anyone was looking for where to get quality lenses.
Soon after, orders from HTC, Nokia, and Samsung started to come in and Zhou was on her way to becoming one of the outstanding game changers in touchscreen production. This feat was cemented after the company produced the touch screens for Apple’s iPhone during its entry into the market making it a dominant player in the industry. Till date, Apple watches still use lenses from Lens Technology.
Zhou Qunfei has risen to become one of the richest women in the technology sector who is still making cutting-edge advances. With her being also listed in many award listings like Forbes as #61 in 2016 Power Women, #205 in 2016 Billionaires (#9 in Hong Kong Billionaires for that year, #18 in 2015 China Rich List, and #30 in 2015 Richest in Tech. Fortune ranked her #18 on their 2016 Most Powerful Women of Asia-Pacific list, and she is a newcomer to the list. Bloomberg has ranked her as #211 out of the World’s Billionaires.
When asked what her hobby is, Zhou Qunfei has said that she considers her work to be her hobby but will sometimes make time to play ping pong and probably break a sweat while mountain climbing.
Her success story is one that has motivated a lot of migrant workers in China as she continues to leave her mark and make more strides in the world of technology.