Happy International Women’s Day!



Happy International Women’s day from Team Pengyou!

To celebrate all the talented, driven and wonderful ladies across the globe we’ve put together a short list of influential women in China in 2016 from different sectors including sports, media, politics, and more. Read on below to see the women that “hold up half the sky” in modern China:

1. Li Na

Li Na is a world-class tennis player, and trailblazer for the sport in China. She is now retired, but during the height of her career she won two international titles, and is widely considered the most successful Chinese tennis player of all time. She is affectionately known to some as “big sister Na” and serves as a positive role model for young girls in China and beyond.

2. Chai Jing

chai jing

Chai Jing is probably most well known for her 2015 documentary, Under the Dome, which went viral in a matter of days with millions of views. The journalist, author and activist shares her concerns about pollution in China with emotionally moving snippets of the hardship it brings to everyday people. Chai’s success as a journalist started taking off in the early 2000s and she became well known as an interviewer in China.

3. Fan Bingbing


Right now, Fan Bingbing is arguably the most famous actress in China. She rose to fame in the late 90s through her acting, and recently made waves in the hit series Empress of ChinaShe is renowned for her classical looks and as a fashion icon, and many people in China consider her to be the “ideal” of Chinese female beauty (oval, “seed-shaped” face, big eyes, and pale skin). Fan has also helped found the Heart Ali project, which aims to help provide treatment for children with congenital heart disease in China.


4. Yang Lan

lan-yang_416x416Yang Lan is a media host, journalist, and talk-show host in China sometimes known as “China’s Oprah”. A self-made woman, she started as the host for one of the first current events shows in China, and is now the Chair of the media empire Sun Media Investment holdings. She also works on many projects to create more open communication in China. She also has a widely watched TED talk, and in addition to being an ambassador for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she is building networks of professional women in China through the online magazine and website, Her Village.


5. Peng Li Yuan

Peng_LiyuanPeng Liyuan is Xi Jinping’s wife, and the “first lady” of China. She rose to fame in when she was just 18 as a Chinese folk singer on the CCTV New Years Gala. Although she is most well-known for her musical talent and her famous husband, the first lady has many accolades herself including being the President of the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Art, is a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In 2014, Forbes named her the 57th most powerful woman in the world.


6. Margaret Chan


Margaret Chan has been the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2006 and has led efforts to fight epidemics such as Ebola and strains of the Avian flu. Born in Hong Kong, Chan spent 25 years working for the Hong Kong government before leaving to work for the WHO. She was named the world’s 30th most powerful woman by Forbes in 2014.


7. Solina Chau


Solina Chau is prominent as a businesswoman and in the NGO sector. Originally from Hong Kong, Chau has built her fortune and influence through investments in technology as well as through her director position at the Li Ka Shing Foundation.


8. Zhang Xin



The co-founder and CEO of SOHO China, Zhang Xin, is known as the “woman who built Beijing”. SOHO China is a famous commercial real estate developer in Beijing known for hiring the architects who gave many of the buildings their funky character. Zhang also co-founded the SOHO China Foundation with her husband, Pan Shiyi (another wealthy and influential figure in China) to combat poverty. Starting out life in Hong Kong in a room just big enough for two bunk beds, Zhang is a true “rags to riches” story.


9. Peng Lei “Lucy”


lucy-peng_416x416 (1)

Lucy Peng is a co-founder of the Alibaba Group and the CEO of Alipay (the online payment platform). She has been with Alibaba for over ten years, and is listed by Forbes as the 53rd most powerful woman in the world as of 2014.



Did we forget anyone? Leave us a comment below and let us know which ladies you think should be honored for International Women’s Day!


Sources: The World of ChineseForbes, TED, Wikipedia (Fan Bingbing, Peng Liyuan, Chai Jing, Li Na, Margaret Chan, Solina Chau, Zhang Xin, Lucy Peng)