Yang Huiyan, a Chinese-born billionaire businesswoman and property developer, has made a significant impact on the real estate industry. As the chairman and majority shareholder of Country Garden Holdings, she is a powerful figure in one of China's leading property development companies.
Born in 1981, Yang Huiyan embarked on a journey that would lead her to become one of the wealthiest women in Asia. Her father, Yang Guoqiang, established the real estate company Country Garden in 1997. It was in 2007, prior to the company's IPO, that Yang Guoqiang transferred 70% of Country Garden's shares to his daughter, Yang Huiyan, setting the stage for her ascent in the business world.
Country Garden's initial public offering in 2007 was a remarkable success, raising approximately $1.6 billion. This amount was comparable to what Google had raised in the United States in 2004. Yang's outstanding leadership and vision contributed to the company's rapid growth. As of August 2023, her net worth stands at $5.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Her impact extended beyond ownership, as Yang also held the position of vice chairman of the board's governance committee. She played a pivotal role in the company's financial endeavours, helping raise $410 million by selling new shares in 2014, as reported by Forbes.
In February 2023, due to age-related reasons, her father, Yang Guoqiang, resigned from the position of chairman of the board at Country Garden. This position was succeeded by Yang Huiyan, marking a new chapter in her already illustrious career.
Yang Huiyan's journey wasn't without its challenges. The Chinese property sector crisis from 2020 to 2023 impacted her wealth significantly, leading to a loss of $28.6 billion since 2021.
Despite these challenges, Yang remains committed to making a positive impact on society. In 2023, she made a substantial philanthropic contribution by donating approximately 55% of her personal stake in a property management firm valued at around $826 million to a charity founded by her younger sister. This philanthropic gesture comes at a time when the company is grappling with China's real estate crisis, and Yang's fortune has declined by 80% in the past two years.
While the donation is a generous one, Yang will retain control of over 36% of the shares through voting rights. The Guoqiang Foundation Hong Kong, the recipient of the donation, has pledged not to sell the shares for the next decade. The proceeds from this contribution are intended to support various charitable causes in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area, and mainland China, highlighting Yang's dedication to making a positive impact on her community.
Yang Huiyan's journey from inheriting shares to becoming a powerful leader in the property development industry showcases her resilience, dedication, and commitment to philanthropy. Her story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and a reminder of the importance of giving back to society in times of need.