Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#243 Wu Yajun $6.57B

Random fact: Graduated from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 1984.

Overview

Wu is chairman and largest shareholder of Longfor Properties, a publicly traded company that develops, invests and manages residential and commercial property. The Beijing-based company operates in 27 cities in China under brands including Paradise Walk, Starry Street and Moco. It had revenue of 54.8 billion yuan ($ 8.3 billion) in 2016.

As of July 23, 2017:
Last change +$119M (+1.9%)
YTD change +$3.31B (+101.2%)
Industry Real Estate
Biggest asset 960 HK Equity
Citizenship China
Age 50
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Wu Yajun's net worth of $6.57B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
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of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

Wu's wealth is derived from her 44 percent stake in Longfor Properties. The Beijing-based developer, had a revenue of 54.8 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) in 2016, according to its preliminary 2016 annual report.

In 2012, Wu Yajun and her husband, Cai Kui, split a jointly held 75.6 percent stake following their divorce. Wu holds 44 percent of Longfor through the Wu Family Trust.

Wu's holdings were compiled through the company's 2016 semi-annual report. Longfor spokeswoman Shao Yuqun confirmed Wu's holdings in Longfor Properties.

Biography

Birthdate:
Family: Divorced, No children
Education: 1984, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Engineering, Bachelor's Degree

Wu was born in Chongqing, China, in 1964. At age 16, she enrolled in the department of navigation engineering at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province. Wu was assigned to work as a technician for a state-owned factory that made instruments and meters in her hometown, earning about $16 per month four years later.

Almost a decade after China's former leader Deng Xiaoping opened up the country for economic reforms, Wu quit her "iron rice bowl" job and started working for an industry newspaper affiliated with the Ministry of Construction in 1988. She spent six years as a journalist covering real estate.

Wu encountered a flurry of problems buying her first apartment -- an 80-square-meter flat in Chongqing. The closing was delayed for a year; natural gas wasn't available; the lighting was poor and the elevator service hours were limited. Inspired by the experience, she decided to build better homes in China, and founded the predecessor of Longfor Properties in 1994.

Longfor sold its first residential project, for $157 per square meter, more than double the average household income in China at the time, in 1997. Since then, Longfor has expanded Longfor into 27 Chinese cities, and employed over 17,100 people, according to its website. Longfor shares are publicly traded in Hong Kong.

Wu divorced Cai Kui and transferred about 40 percent of Longfor shares the couple used to own to Cai in 2012.

Milestones
  • 1964 Born near Chongqing in southwestern China.
  • 1980 Enrolls in university, studies navigation engineering.
  • 1992 Marries Cai Kui.
  • 1994 Founds Longfor Properties near her hometown.
  • 1997 Longfor's first project breaks ground in Chongqing.
  • 2002 First subsidiary set up in Beijing.
  • 2007 Company first enters Shanghai property market.
  • 2009 Shares of Longfor sold in Hong Kong, raising $1 billion.
  • 2011 Steps down as CEO; stays on as chairman.
  • 2012 Divorces Cai Kui and splits shares.