5 Women Entrepreneurs You Need To Know In China
From fintech to philanthropy, here are five women entrepreneurs on the Gen.T List who are breaking China’s glass ceiling
China’s historic economic growth in the last 20 years has had a positive impact on women entrepreneurship levels, with 25.6 percent of all businesses in China owned by women.
Despite lagging behind a number of Asian countries in levels of women entrepreneurs, including Singapore and the Philippines, China is strides ahead of Japan, where 17.3 percent of businesses are owned by women, as well as Europe.
Some theorise that the rise in numbers of women entrepreneurs in China is an unintended consequence of the country’s one-child policy. “Women have been able to receive more concentrated investment in their education and professional ambitions from their elders as the only child,” says Jennifer Lai, head of north Asia for global citizenship advisory firm Henley & Partners.
Regardless, the world’s second largest economy, like so many others, has a long road ahead to gender parity. From fintech to philanthropy, here are five women entrepreneurs on the Gen.T List who are breaking China’s glass ceiling.
The 26-year-old co-founder of Airwallex, a cross–border payments company, has already led her startup to the revered billion–dollar ‘unicorn’ status. Founded in 2015, Airwallex provides technology to facilitate international transactions in foreign exchange markets, and successfully closed a US$100 million Series C round in early 2019. Lucy Liu was also made Fintech Australia Female Leader of the Year and EY Australian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2018.
See also: This Is The Asian Century. Here's Why
Zhang Mo is the founder and CEO of Yi+, which builds visual engines for artificial intelligence systems. In 2019, Yi+ broke the world record for accuracy in winning the Pascal VOC comp4 object detection challenge––becoming the world’s first computer vision software to exceed 90 percent accuracy. Mo’s startup has worked with clients including Huawei, Weibo, Qihoo 360, JD.com and Qupai. The company’s sub–brand, Clothing+, works as a visual search engine for fashion products.
Chen Anni is the founder and CEO of China’s most popular comic platform, Kuaikan Comic. In 2014, the award-winning startup made a splash with The 1% Life, an anime series depicting the struggles of young Chinese. It raised Kuaikan’s profile significantly, leading the firm to raise US$177 million in Series D funding in 2017—setting a new financing record for China’s nascent comic industry. In 2019, its total number of users is a reported 170 million, with monthly users at over 40 million.
As co–founder of gaming startup WafaGames, famed for its creation of well-rounded, realistic female characters, Kathy Gong is blazing the way for female gamers. Gong is also the founder of ai.Law, a robotics startup that makes law accessible and affordable, which has now served three million people—67 percent of them women. Gong was a child prodigy, becoming China’s youngest national chess champion at age 10, and has gone on to establish the nonprofit World’s Youngest Voices to sponsor outstanding young students.
See also: I Am Generation T: Kathy Gong
Daisy Guo matches designers with projects through her company, Tezign, playing a key role in Asia’s rising freelance economy. The startup has served more than 8,000 businesses, including Unilever and Special Olympics International. Tezign recently completed a Series B funding round, and is using the funds to develop its strength in AI.
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