Zhang Xin :

Zhang Xin: On the Return to China. By Ingrid Li
Available in this site and bookstores in January 2006.
ISBN 0-9742615-8-0
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On January 11th, 2005, Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, released the names of the first 237 young leaders who have been selected and have accepted to take part in The Forum of Young Global Leaders, working in close cooperation with the World Economic Forum. Among the Young Global Leaders are illustrious names like Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Chairman of easyGroup, one of Europe’s largest low-cost air carriers.One of the 49 Asian Young Global Leaders was Zhang Xin, co-founder and co-CEO of SOHO China, the Beijing-based real-estate developer.

For Zhang, it’s a long way from a rural village mired in poverty in China’s Henan province, where she spent part of her childhood. At SOHO China, Zhang develops large-scale, avant-garde real estate projects, including SOHO New Town, Commune by the Great Wall and Jianwai SOHO in Beijing and Boao Canal Village on Hainan Island. SOHO shot to fame in 2002 when Commune by the Great Wall won a prize at the prestigious Venice Biennale. Established in 1895, Venice Biennale is the world's most important critical forum for contemporary visual art. Zhang became the first non-architect to receive the reward and was lauded for her “bold personal initiative”.

“Personal initiative” is largely the main reason that piqued our interest in Zhang, a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York. But her story is more than a rags-to-riches one. In a larger sense, Zhang represents a new breed of Chinese entrepreneurs, who are well-educated, honed their business and management skills in the West before returning home. They’re forward looking, self-confident, and savvy. More important, they have enormous drive.

About the Author

Ingrid Li is a New York-based business consultant and writer. A Beijing native, Ingrid is a graduate of Boston College and holds an MBA from University of Oxford, England, where she was a member of Pembroke College. A former investment banker at JP Morgan Chase, Ingrid has also worked for Reuters and consulted in branding strategy and business development in digital media. She heads up the Oxford Business Alumni (OBA) in New York and is the editor of OBA NY newsletter. She also contributes to Oxford SBS News and The Pembrokian.

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PaulPaul Samuelson
Tom Ford

Nigel Holmes
Alan Siegel

-Soho China
-Comune by the Great Wall

Ms. Zhang XinIN the Press

-Ingrid Li