Zhang Xin

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  • Post category:China

Name: Zhang Xin 

Country: China

Date of birth: 24-08-1965 

Education: Master’s in Development Economics

Type of Business: Real Estate    

Main Achievements: Zhang Xin is the co-founder of Soho China, a leading real estate developer of the country. The company builds office towers in Beijing and Shanghai as well as is a part of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange list. Zhang appeared on the 2020 billionaires list of Forbes. She was also a part of the China Rich List in 2019. Listed among the Power Women in 2015, Zhang was, however, dropped in the following year. The leading entrepreneur enjoys a net worth of $3.6 billion, as of the year 2020. Zhang is also counted as the seventh-richest self-made woman. 

Something interesting about Zhang Xin: Zhang is not fond of excessive accumulation of money. She is very strict with her children in this regard and tries her best to make them value their wealth. The real estate mogul also suggested her 14-year-old son search for a job in KFC or McDonalds; however’ he was too young to be accepted. 


Zhang Xin was born in the capital of China, Beijing, in 1965. Her parents were second-generation Sino-Burmese and emigrated from Burma to China in the 1950s. They performed the duty of translators at the Foreign Languages Press. However, the two separated from each other during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Zhang stayed with her mother and shifted to Hong Kong when she was 15 years old. She lived a modest lifestyle and lived in a single room with her mother. She worked hard to put by money for her education abroad and worked tirelessly in a garments factory. At the age of 19, Zhang had made enough money to travel to London to get enrolled in a secretarial school situated in Oxford. Her struggle to survive continued, and she worked part-time in a fish and chip outlet to support herself in the UK. The young Zhang was inspired by the leftist British people as well as the PM, Margaret Thatcher. She acquired a scholarship in 1987 and started studying her bachelor’s at the University of Sussex. She earned her Master’s in Development Economics in 1992 from Cambridge University. The University of Sussex also granted her an honorary doctorate. 

Zhang accumulated confidence with each step that she took. She got employed at the Barings Bank of London and then worked at Goldman Sachs, which help her gain valuable experiences. However, she returned to China and came across Pan Shiyi, her current life partner. The couple got married and shared their dreams of developing property in China. It was then that the renowned SOHO was established. The company has an unconventional business model that had transformed from property builders to property owners over the years—renowned architects from all over the globe work for Soho. The famous company has incorporated foreign design and computerization to China, according to Zhang Xin. 

Along with Zhang’s utter hard work, exceptional entrepreneurial skills, and relentless effort, it was her honesty and righteousness that boosted her business. She is a prominent example of acquiring success based on one’s acumen and skill instead of being corrupt or belonging from an influential background. Despite being a real estate mogul and a significantly renowned personality, Zhang is a very welcoming, straight-forward, and honest individual. Her several incidents of sharing her small life stories on the social media platform, Weibo, reflects her freehearted nature. She even shared her prediction of seeing democracy in China shortly to an American journalist. Zhang is also an advocate of globalization and social mobility through the acquisition of education abroad. Considering her childhood struggles to attain knowledge, Zhang is passionate about donating money to support the education of Chinese students. Zhang Xin is an embodiment of determination and tenacity and has set an example for people not only from China but also from across the world. She succeeded in turning her childhood ordeal into the towering success of her future.