Definitions

nonexecutive director

Zhang Yin (entrepreneur)

Zhang Yin (Chinese: 张茵) (born 1957 in Shaoguan, Guangdong with family roots in Heilongjiang), also known by her Hong Kong name Cheung Yan, is a Chinese entrepreneur and is one of the richest people in China. She is the founder and director of the family company Nine Dragons Paper Holdings, a recycling company that buys scrap paper from the United States, imports it into China, and mainly turns it into cardboard for use in boxes to export Chinese goods. The company is China's biggest paper maker.

Introduction

In October 2006, she became, at 49 years old, the first woman to top the list of richest people in China published by Hurun Report (the Chinese luxury magazine and events group). The BBC reported that Zhang's personal fortune as valued at US$3.4 billion -- meaning that Yin may be the wealthiest self-made woman in the world ahead of Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Giuliana Benetton and Rosalia Mera. Forbes magazine put her wealth at US$1.35 billion in November 2006, which would have made her then the richest woman in China and the fifth richest person in China. On a later Forbes list she was displaced as China's richest woman by 25-year-old Yang Huiyan, whose net worth Forbes estimated at $9 billion following the 2007 stock market listing of Country Garden Holdings, a real estate developer run by her father.

Zhang Yin is the daughter of Cheung Deen who had been a lieutenant in the Red Army and later became general manager of a metallurgy company in Guangdong. His contacts and connections with the Communist Party would help along her business career.

Zhang Yin opened a paper trading company in Hong Kong in 1985. In 1990, she moved to Los Angeles and married the second time. Her husband Ming Chung Liu was born in Taiwan, grew up in Brazil and was trained as a dentist. Together they founded the paper exporting company America Chung Nam. This company has been the number one American paper exporter since 2001. It is also the largest overall exporter to China, by volume shipped. Zhang Yin holds a green card.

Zhang Yin returned to Hong Kong in 1995 and cofounded Nine Dragons Paper with her husband and her younger brother Zhang Cheng Fei. The company, headquartered in Dongguan, raised almost $500 million in an initial public offering in March 2006 at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; by the end of 2006 the stock had nearly tripled in value. With plans to invest $800 million and more than double production capacity by 2009, the company could soon become Asia's and even the world's largest maker of packaging paper.

Zhang Yin makes most of the strategic decisions, her husband is CEO, her brother handles general management. Her 24-year-old son Lau Chun is a nonexecutive director. The company has three general managers who are responsible for all aspects of the business; none are family members.

In January 2007, it was reported that Cheung was also a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body for the Chinese government.

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