Chinese decision-makers in pharmaceuticals, biotech and finance make Forbes list of powerful businesswomen in Asia



a person posing for the camera: Samantha Du, founder and CEO of Zai Lab, is among three Chinese nationals in Forbes’ list of 25 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Photo: Edmond So


© SCMP
Samantha Du, founder and CEO of Zai Lab, is among three Chinese nationals in Forbes’ list of 25 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Photo: Edmond So

Three Chinese decision-makers in the pharmaceuticals, biotech and finance industries made the annual Forbes list of 25 powerful businesswomen in Asia.

The list, released on Tuesday, highlights businesswomen in Asia who are “rising to the occasion and excelling during these challenging times” as the world battles with the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, said Rana Wehbe Watson, editor of Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list 2020.

“The list this year recognises 25 women at the helm of companies and institutions across a wide range of industries such as biotech, education, logistics and law,” she said.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

Featuring in the list from China was Zhao Yan, the chairman and general manager of Bloomage BioTechnology, the world’s largest manufacturer of hyaluronic acid, which is used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food supplements.



a person standing in front of a window: Zhao Yan, chairman and general manager of Bloomage Biotechnology, pictured at Admiralty Centre, Hong Kong, in September 2008. Photo: SCMP


© Provided by South China Morning Post
Zhao Yan, chairman and general manager of Bloomage Biotechnology, pictured at Admiralty Centre, Hong Kong, in September 2008. Photo: SCMP

The company went public on Shanghai’s Star Market in November 2019 after delisting in Hong Kong two years earlier. Its share price has shot up around 20 per cent, helping Zhao, 54, become one of China’s richest women with a net worth of US$6 billion, according to Forbes.

Samantha Du, 56, founder and chief executive of Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company Zai Lab, also made the cut. The company’s primary business involves licensing foreign firms’ drugs for sale in China, including ovarian cancer drug Zejula, which is licensed from British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline.

It has a market cap of nearly US$6 billion, and its share price has increased nearly three-fold since listing on the Nasdaq in 2017. It has filed for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, Forbes said.

The third Chinese national to make the list was Annabelle Long, managing partner of Bertelsmann Asia Investments, the investment arm of German media group Bertelsmann. Long, 47, oversees a US$3 billion portfolio of start-ups, including more than 20 unicorns, according to the magazine. She convinced the company to set up a fund to invest in China’s internet sector in 2007, and has helped more than 10 companies go public, including Nasdaq-listed shopping site Mogu and online consumer lender Lexin.



a woman posing for a picture: Lucy Liu Yueting is the co-founder and president of Hong Kong-based fintech unicorn Airwallex. Photo: zhihu.com


© Provided by South China Morning Post
Lucy Liu Yueting is the co-founder and president of Hong Kong-based fintech unicorn Airwallex. Photo: zhihu.com

The youngest to make the list was 29-year-old Lucy Liu Yueting. The New Zealander is the co-founder and president of Hong Kong-based fintech unicorn Airwallex. The digital payments operator is backed by Tencent and Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures, which allows companies to manage multicurrency, cross-border transactions at a cheaper rate than banks.

Women from 12 countries and regions made the list this year, which spotlights outstanding leaders in the Asia-Pacific region.

Four women from India made the list, followed by Thailand with three. Australia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia each had two representatives, while Philippines and Malaysia had one each.

More Articles from SCMP

Hong Kong prosecutors seek arrest warrants for ‘absconded’ Nathan Law and fellow activist over banned June 4 vigil

Douyin, China’s TikTok, grows daily active users to 600 million in home country amid global headwinds

No time for politics as mass testing ends in Hong Kong and virus struggle goes on

Hong Kong protests: district council chairman sues government secretary over agenda row

Hong Kong protests: independent police watchdog says high percentage of complaints withdrawn, dropped is ‘not ideal’

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Next Post

Creative studio and gift shop The Craft Loft-St. Clair moves to new location in city

Sat Sep 19 , 2020
The Craft Loft-St. Clair is no longer in the upstairs of The Chocolate Harbor’s building in St. Clair.  © Brian Wells/Times Herald Danielle McLaren, photographed Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, at The Craft Loft-St. Clair, recently moved the business to a new location at 1919 Fred W. Moore Highway in St. Clair. […]
Creative studio and gift shop The Craft Loft-St. Clair moves to new location in city