Zhang Yin - China's Leading Woman Entrepreneur

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN051
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1998-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Nine Dragons Paper Holdings Limited
Industry : Packaging
Countries : China

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

The company's share price quadrupled from the IPO price of HK$ 3.40 to HK$ 14 by November 2006, and Zhang became one of the richest women in China by the virtue of her 72% equity holding in the company. (Refer to Exhibit II for the Stock Price Chart of Nine Dragons).

On Zhang topping the list of the richest people in China, The Observer10 wrote, "She seems an eloquent symbol of the new China; a capitalist whose success and wealth was unthinkable before Deng Xiaoping freed China from the embrace of Maoism in 1978. It is capitalists such as her who are proof that paradoxically it is communist China that is home to the globe's most vigorous capitalism. And she is a woman."11

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

The Beginning

Zhang was born in Heilongjiang province in the north east of China, bordering Russia, in 1957. Zhang's father, Zhang Deen was a Lieutenant in the Red Army and she was the eldest of eight children.

Though her father was in the army, the family faced some troubled times. Her father was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution12. Zhang and her mother worked in a textile factory to support the family. As Zhang said, "In those days, we only had meat to eat on holidays. But the lack of material things made me appreciate the value of possessions. My parents always encouraged us to face life and solve our problems independently."13 After leaving the army, Zhang Deen joined a metallurgy firm in Guangdong province. Zhang moved to Shenzhen in the early 1980s, when economic reforms had just begun in China. She started working in a foreign paper products trading company, in its finance department.

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10]  The Observer is a UK-based newspaper published on Sundays. It is a part of the Guardian Media Group.

11] Will Hutton, "Thanks to Mao, Zhang Yin's a Billionaire," www.observer.guardian.co.uk, October 15, 2006.

12] The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution also known as the Cultural Revolution began in 1966 and was the result of an internal struggle in the Communist Party in China. It grew to include several sections of society. The Cultural Revolution was launched by Mao Zedong, after the Great Leap Forward, the economic and social plan to transform China from an agrarian economy, failed to show results. It ended in 1976

13] "Zhang Yin: World's Richest Self-Made Woman," www.moneyweek.com, October 20, 2006.


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