Apple’s glass supplier becomes China’s richest woman




Zhou Qunfei, chairwoman of Lens Technology.   Web Photo 






BEIJING  |  2015-04-01 14:42:44


Apple’s glass supplier

becomes China’s richest woman


By Rong Jiaojiao



Zhou Qunfei (周群飞), chairwoman of Lens Technology (蓝思科技), has been crowned as China’s richest woman with a total share holding value of 46.22 billion yuan (7.58 billion U.S. dollars)as of Tuesday afternoon of March 31.

Her company’s share value surged to 78.08 yuan per share on Tuesday of of March 31, jumping by the daily limit for 10 straight days since it debuted on the Growth Enterprise Market board in Shenzhen on March 18, with an offering price of 22.99 yuan per share.

On Wednesday morning, Lens Technology, a major Apple Inc supplier, saw its share value surge by the daily limit for the 11th day at 85.89 yuan per share, extending the glory of the country’s richest woman.

Dubbed as the “Queen of Mobile Phone Glass”, Zhou has ousted Chan Laiwa, founder of Beijing Red Sandalwood Cultural Foundation, who was previously named China’s richest woman with total assets of 6.1 billion U.S. dollars, according to a global billionaire list by Forbes released in March.

Lens Technology makes glass covers for various consumer electronic products such as smartphones,computers and cameras. Its sales revenue to Apple and Samsung reached nine billion yuan in 2014, accounting for more than 70 percent of the company’s total revenue.

Zhou’s life is a classic rags to riches story. Born in 1970 in a small village in central China’s Hunan Province, she started working as a factory girl making glass for watches in China’s southern city of Shenzhen.

In 2003, she founded her own company. Headquartered in her hometown Hunan, the company has now grown to include 10 subsidiary companies with locations all over China, and employs 60,000 people.

Zhou has maintained a low-profile in the past decade and very little is known about her secret of standing out from other highly competitive companies. She once told the press that she contributed her success to “hard work” and “persistence”.

Despite of the company’s good performance in the stock market, analysts have also expressed some concern on the company’s ability to sustain profitability. After posting a net profit of 2 billion yuan in 2012, Lens technology saw net profit drop to 1.17 billion yuan in 2014.

The company said that the decline was due to slump in the gross profits of mobile phone glass covers.

Lens Technology is also highly reliant on major clients such as Apple and Samsung. Between 2012 and 2014, the combined sales to the two industry giants took up more than 70 percent of the company’s entire sales revenue.

Lens Technology said in its prospectus that it will see profit fall by 50 percent if there is any fluctuation in the supplies to Apple or Samsung.

Nevertheless, the company has announced recently that it provides glass for Apple’s newly launched Apple Watch. It can be foreseen that the richest woman will continue to keep her mobile phone glass kingdom ticking.









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