Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#188 Wu Yajun $8.19B

Random fact: Nickname for her staff: "Brother."

Overview

Wu is chairman and largest shareholder of Longfor Properties, a Chinese developer of commercial and residential property. The Beijing-based company operates in more than 35 cities under brands including Paradise Walk, Starry Street and Moco. It reported revenue of 54.8 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) in 2016.

As of June 19, 2018:
Last change -$635k (-0.0%)
YTD change +$1.54B (+23.1%)
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 $8.19B 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 a 44 percent stake in Longfor Properties. The Beijing-based developer, had revenue of 54.8 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) in 2016, according to its preliminary 2016 annual report. It operates in 36 cities, according to its website.

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, according to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing dated Oct. 31, 2017.

She's collected about HK$7 billion ($900 million) in dividends through December 2017, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of her cash investments is based on an analysis of these proceeds, as well as taxes and market performance.

Zhang Tao, a spokesperson of Longfor, didn't respond to a request for comment on Wu's net worth in February 2018.

Biography

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

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.