HTC founder Cher Wang. (Photo/Chen Jhih-yuan)
Cher Wang, the chairperson and co-founder of Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC, is ranked 56 on Forbes Magazine's latest list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. Four women from China, including WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, were also named on the list.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remain the three most powerful women.
Cher Wang has dropped 36 places from last year however as HTC has suffered financially from a series of patent disputes with Apple since June last year. The company's share price plunged from its highest level of NT$1,300 (US$43.42) in April last year to NT$250 (US$8.35) on Aug. 23, prompting the value of shares held by Wang and her husband to drop from US$1.4 billion to US$287 million, according to Taiwan's Central News Agency and the local edition of Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily.
The company has been hailed as the pride of Taiwan as it was the first firm from the country to establish an international brand and beat Nokia to become the world's third-largest mobile phone maker by market value. Wang has been unfazed by the drop and donated 6,000 HTC Flyer tablet PCs to 60 high schools in Taipei this month. HTC is expected to roll out new models by the end of the third quarter.
Hong Kong's Margaret Chan became the first female director of the city's health department when she was appointed in 1994, a position she held until 2003, when she was criticized for underestimating the seriousness of the SARS pandemic in Hong Kong in 2003 and for failing to prevent the outbreak. She became director-general of the WHO in 2007.
Soho China co-founder and CEO Zhang Xin, 42nd on the list, built up the realty developer with her husband Pan Shiyi. The firm's stylish projects played a leading role in transforming the urban landscape in Beijing and Shanghai and it won a major architecture prize in Venice in 2002 with the project Commune by the Great Wall.
Ranked 79th on the list, Chan Lai-wan is a Hong Kong philanthropist and the founder of Fu Wah International Group. She has been dedicated to preserving Chinese artifacts after making a fortune investing in agriculture, tourism and electronics.
Huawei Technology chairwoman Sun Yafang ranks 91st. She has helped the Chinese company to become one of the best-known network and telecom service providers in the world since she joined the company in 1992 and is now seen as the successor to the company's president Ren Zhengfei.
Forbes' list includes women from backgrounds ranging from politics, business, media, entertainment and non-profit organizations and ranks them according to their wealth, media exposure and influence. The youngest on the list is the singer Lady Gaga at age 26, while Queen Elizabeth is the eldest at 86, according to Want Daily, our Chinese-language sister newspaper.
Cher Wang 王雪紅
Margaret Chan 陳馮富珍
Zhang Xin 張欣
Pan Shiyi 潘石屹
Chan Lai-wan 陳麗華
Sun Yafang 孫亞芳
Ren Zhengfei 任正非