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From Factory to Fortune: Wu Yajun’s Inspiring Journey

From humble beginnings to becoming one of China's wealthiest self-made women, her journey is nothing short of remarkable.

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

Born in 1964 in Chongqing, China, Wu Yajun graduated with a degree in engineering in 1984. Despite her qualifications, she found herself working as a technician in a state-owned factory, earning a meager $16 per month. Undeterred by the challenges, she persevered, determined to carve her path to success.

Her life changed significantly as she shifted to journalism, covering the property beat for a local newspaper. It was during this time that she encountered firsthand the challenges of purchasing a home in China’s rapidly growing real estate market. Fueled by a desire to effect change and driven by entrepreneurial zeal, Wu Yajun embarked on a new chapter in her life.

In 1993, alongside her then-husband Cai Kui, Wu Yajun founded Longfor Properties, a modest property development company. What began as a humble venture soon blossomed into a colossal success story. Longfor Properties, later renamed Longfor Group Holdings, rapidly expanded its footprint, becoming a prominent player in China’s real estate sector.

Despite facing personal setbacks, including a high-profile divorce in 2012 that cost her a significant portion of her fortune, Wu Yajun’s resilience remained unwavering. Her dedication to her craft and unwavering commitment to excellence propelled her to the zenith of success.

In 2022, Wu Yajun made headlines once again as she gracefully stepped down as Chair of Longfor Group Holdings amid sector challenges. However, her legacy endures, serving as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

Today, Wu Yajun’s net worth stands at an estimated US$11 billion, a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering determination. Her journey from factory technician to billionaire businesswoman serves as a testament to the transformative power of resilience, grit, and unwavering determination.

Here are 10 things to know about Wu Yajun:

  1. In 2022, Wu Yajun was named the Hurun Richest Self-Made Women in the World, boasting an estimated net worth of $17 billion.
  2. However, amidst the 2022 credit crisis in China and the declining state of property businesses, Wu Yajun reportedly lost about two-thirds of her property, bringing her net worth down to around $6.3 billion.
  3. During the credit crisis, Wu Yajun is said to have lost about $1 billion every day, a significant factor behind her resignation, as many top businesspeople in China are stepping down.
  4. Wu Yajun and her ex-husband Cai Kui founded Longfor Properties together in 1993. However, following their divorce in 2012, her husband lost his rights in the company, leading to Wu Yajun’s loss of status as China’s richest woman.
  5. Before her rise in real estate, Wu Yajun worked for about four years in a state-owned factory, earning a modest income of $16 per month.
  6. In 1988, she transitioned into journalism, covering real estate for six years at the China Shirong News Agency. This experience laid the foundation for her entrepreneurial journey.
  7. Wu Yajun became the chairperson of Longfor Properties in 2007, leveraging her expertise and knowledge of the real estate market.
  8. After her resignation, Wu Yajun appointed Chen Xuping, a former general manager with extensive experience, as the new chairperson of the company.
  9. Wu Yajun maintained a private life and avoided the limelight. In 2003, her inclusion in China’s wealthiest people list led to confusion due to a misspelling, assuming her to be a man.
  10. Following her resignation from Longfor Properties, the company’s share price plummeted by 38%, reflecting her significant influence in the industry.

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