Zhou Qunfei – from a villager to a multi-billionaire
According to updated data, Zhou Qunfei is the richest woman, whose fortune exceeds one billion dollars. She became a leader as soon as her predecessor’s fortune plunged from a billion to zero when she was sued for fraud.
Zhou, the 47-year-old founder of Lens Technology, which makes iPhone screens, became a multi-billionaire when her company went public in 2015. Today, according to Bloomberg, her company is valued at $11 billion. Lens Technology is a tacit leader in the glass industry for laptops, tablets, photo and video equipment. The company annually enters the Global 2000 ratings, and among its clients there are such loud names as Apple and Samsung.
The condition of the company’s founder, Ms. Qunfei, is also impressive. The personal capital of the head of Lens Technology is $9.3 billion. (Forbes data for October 2017). The businesswoman heads Forbes’ rating “The World’s Six Richest Women In Tech 2017” – the richest women who have made a fortune in the high-tech segment.
Zhou Qunfei was born in China, the country with the largest number of women billionaires in the world. She grew up on a motherless farm, caring for her almost blind father after the war. Although the young businesswoman was a diligent student, she soon realizes that the school will not bring her a decent income and leaves it at the age of 16. Instead, she started working in a factory at a watch lens company and attended evening classes in subjects such as accounting and fire safety at Shenzhen University. Although, as Zhou herself says, she has dreamed of becoming a famous fashion designer since her childhood.
Zhou Qunfei, as a founder of a company
At the age of 22 with a few thousand dollars, she founded her own watch lens company in 1993. In an interview with an Australian financial publication, she said that during China’s rapid economic growth, entrepreneurs, including women, had many opportunities. That’s what allowed her to grow her business. She added, however, that she had no regrets about her decision. In the village where she grew up, she said, girls do not often have the choice whether to continue their education. For the most part, they get married and stay in one place for life.
In 2003, after managing her company for ten years, Motorola approached Zhou to design a scratch-resistant glass lens for a new Razr V3 phone.
This was followed by orders from HTC, Nokia and Samsung. In 2007, Apple released its first iPhone and also contacted Zhou.
Five years later, Zhou had factories in three cities. In 2017, it had 32 plants and over 90,000 employees.