By Jessica Lin
For China’s richest woman, the first 96 hours of 2018 meant a US$2 billion gain to her fortune.
According to Bloomberg, Yang Huiyan, vice-chairman of Chinese property developer Country Garden Holdings, saw her wealth rise in the first four trading days of the year, thanks to the company’s share surge.
Country Garden is the country’s largest property developer by sales.
Since last week, the company’s shares have surged even further. On January 8, the company was reportedly the top gainer on the Hang Seng Index, with an increase of 7.4 per cent.
The 36-year-old, who was ranked fourth on the Hurun Rich List in 2017, is the country’s richest woman.
Bloomberg reported that she was worth US$25.6 billion on January 5, while real-time data on Forbes estimates her wealth on January 8 to be US$28.6 billion.
She is ranked 31 and 30 respectively on the Bloomberg and Forbes global billionaires lists.
Despite her high-profile fortune, Yang has appeared to be media-shy, and not many photos of her can be found on the internet.
There are, however, some things about her life and her company that have been reported in the Chinese media over the years.
Here’s what we know so far:
1. She is the daughter of Guangdong developer Yang Guoqiang, and has a younger sister named Yang Ziying, who also sits on the Country Garden board.
2. She became China’s richest person in 2007, when she was just 25. Her father had transferred 70 per cent of his holdings to her before taking Country Garden public in Hong Kong.
3. She is now the company’s largest shareholder, with a reported 57 per cent stake.
4. Yang also chairs Bright Scholar Education Holdings, which is the largest operator of international and bilingual K-12 schools in China. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007.
According to South China Morning Post, she and her aunt, Yang Meirong, together own a 92.59 per cent stake in the education company.
5. According to Forbes, Yang holds a degree from Ohio State University.
6. Yang married her husband Chen Chong in 2006. He is reportedly from Harbin, and graduated from Tsinghua University, which is a member of the C9 League of Chinese universities.
7. Her father is a self-made tycoon. He has reportedly said that he could not afford to pay school fees when he was in his teens, and was forced to go back into farming as a result. He later managed to study with the help of a scholarship grant.