Zhou Qunfei Biography & Net Worth
Zhou Qunfei Biography & Net Worth
Xiangxiang, Hunan, China
Zheng Junlong (m. 2008)
|Businesswoman, Investor, Entrepreneur
Zhou Qunfei, who founded a company that produces glass used to cover smartphones and laptops, was named the world’s richest self-made woman in 2018 with a net worth of $9.8 billion. Her company, Lens Technology, maintains contracts with some of the world’s biggest technology firms and counts technology giants Samsung and Apple as its main customers. Zhou, who came from a very poor background, has been featured on many Billionaires lists published by several media outlets in recent times. Forbes ranks her as the world’s 16th wealthiest woman overall, with all others ranking above her appearing to have either married into or inherited their wealth.
Ms. Zhou occupies the top spot as the richest female self-made billionaire in the world, claiming the position from real estate developer Chen Lihua, who controls Fu Wah International. There’s so much more about this personality that we’ve lined up in the report below. Read on.
Early Life: Childhood, Education
Zhou Qunfei was born in Xiangxiang, Hunan, China, in the year 1970. She is the youngest of three children of her parents. Theirs was a very poor rural family. Before she was born, her father, an ex-soldier, lost a finger and became partially blinded in an accident in the 1960s. A skilled artisan, he provided for his family by repairing bicycles and making bamboo baskets and chairs. Her mother, on the other hand, passed away when she was five years old. Things became extremely difficult for her as a child. She played her part to help her older siblings and their father by rearing animals for little profit and sustenance. Although she was the only child in the family that went to secondary school and showed potential as a brilliant student, she dropped out when she was 16 years old and moved in with her uncle to become a worker in Shenzhen, the economic zone in Guangdong province. While she nursed the idea of pursuing a government job for its reliability, she never gave it much thought because lacking an educational qualification wouldn’t give her much chance. While going about her activities in Shenzhen, Zhou intentionally chose to work for businesses situated close to Shenzhen University so she could attend lectures at the university on a part-time basis. She studied several subjects and passed all her examinations to be certified for customs processing, accounting, computer operations, and even became qualified to operate commercial vehicles. Her biggest regret, according to her, is not having learned the English language.
Professional Life: Business Career
Zhou always wanted to become a fashion designer, but fate had something totally different for her future. She found a job at a small family-run business that made watch parts and paid her 180 yuan a month. Unhappy with the working conditions, Zhou decided to leave the job only three months in and submitted a resignation letter explaining her reasons while also expressing gratitude for the opportunity the company gave her. The letter moved the firm’s manager to offer her a promotion in place of a dismissal. In 1993 when the company folded, Zhou, 22 years old at that time, established her own company using her savings of about $3,000. It was her relative who encouraged her to open her own business, and she started the company with two cousins, her sister, brother, and their spouses, all working in a three-bedroom flat. The company attracted customers by promising watch lenses with higher quality compared to what was sold in the market. Here, Zhou involved herself in all sectors of the company, including repairs, servicing, and creating modified designs of factory equipment.
In 2001, Zhou got her breakthrough when her company was awarded a lucrative contract to produce mobile phone screens for TCL Corporation, a Chinese electronics giant that can easily pass for one of the biggest in the country.
According to Zhou, she has established more than 11 companies over the years. However, it is her company, Lens Technology, which eventually became the face of her enterprise.
In 2003, while still making watch faces, Zhou and her company were contacted by Motorola to design glass screens for their Razr V3. At that time, the cellphone industry was switching from plastic to glass screens. Following this, Zhou established the touch-screen maker Lens Technology in 2003 and started to receive orders from various mobile phone manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics, HTC, and Nokia.
After working with Apple to produce screens for its iPhone series during its 2007 market-entry, Zhou’s Lens Technology developed into a key player in the industry. The company now majorly supplies touch screens to top electronics brands like Huawei, Apple, and Samsung, receiving nearly 75 percent of its revenue from Samsung and Apple. As of 2017, the company had about 90,000 employees, had 32 factory locations, and was expected to churn out over one billion glass screens.
Achievements: Awards & Honors
During Lens Technology’s IPO offering in 2015, Zhou Qunfei, who holds 87.9 percent of the company’s shares and a $7.2 billion stake at that time, saw her net worth rise 452 percent, unseating Chen Lihua as the richest woman in China.
Zhou also holds claim to the position of the richest self-made female billionaire in the world and is one of the richest businesswomen in the technology industry. Additionally, she was on Forbes lists as the 61st most powerful woman of 2016 Power Women. She ranked 205th in 2016 Billionaires (number 9 out of Hong Kong billionaires), ranked 18th in 2015 China Rich List, and 30th in 2015 Richest in Tech.
Fortune placed her in 18th position on their Most Powerful Women of Asia-Pacific list in 2016, while Bloomberg has listed her as 211th on its world’s billionaires list.
Personal Life: Husband, Children, Private Interests
Zhou Qunfei was initially married to her former factory boss, with whom she had a daughter before their divorce.
In 2008, she married Zheng Junlong, a factory colleague of hers who currently sits on the board of Lens Technology and holds 1.4 percent of the company’s shares. They have a seven-year-old son together.
The family resides in a $27 million estate in Hong Kong.
Zhou has named her work as her favorite hobby, though, she enjoys playing ping pong and mountain climbing.
Zhou Qunfei Net Worth: Salary, Investments, Income Sources
Zhou Qunfei’s net worth is approximately $15 billion today. She’s a Chinese businesswoman and entrepreneur who rose to success by founding Lens Technology, a company she currently leads as its chief executive officer. Her company is the biggest component supplier for Apple’s iPhone.
Ms. Zhou is famed as the richest and most influential woman in China. She experienced a wealth drop years back when the shares of her company dropped more than 60 percent between October 2018 and October 2019, resulting in a huge loss of wealth for Zhou, whose net worth of $7 billion before that time dropped to $3.5 billion. However, Zhou, who is known for her resilience and determination, worked even harder and ensured that Lens Technology’s stock improved over the next 12 months. By December 2020, Lens market cap rose to $130 billion and propelled Zhou Qunfei’s fortune to $15 billion.
Zhou’s rags-to-riches story is hailed as an inspiration to tons of migrant workers in China. In a recent interview with a popular TV network, the brilliant industrialist revealed that the secret of her success was her innate desire to learn and develop herself before anything else.