HONG KONG; March 23, 2017 — The Asia Society Board of Trustees today announced the election of ZHANG Xin as a new member at its spring meeting in Hong Kong.
"We are delighted to welcome Zhang Xin as our newest Global Trustee,” said Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “She is a visionary entrepreneur who is widely recognized as one of China’s foremost woman business leaders. Asia Society will benefit enormously from her interests and experience in the realms of architecture, current affairs and business, as well as her philanthropic commitment to education and environmental issues.”
Zhang Xin co-founded SOHO China in 1995. As CEO, she has led the company to become one of the largest developers of prime office real estate in China with over 60 million square feet in projects in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2015 SOHO China launched “SOHO 3Q,” pioneering the concept of coworking in China. SOHO 3Q is now Shanghai and Beijing’s largest operator of coworking spaces. Read her complete bio below.
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Zhang Xin co-founded SOHO China in 1995. As CEO, she has led the company to become one of the largest developers of prime office real estate in China with over 60 million square feet in projects in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2015 SOHO China launched “SOHO 3Q,” pioneering the concept of coworking in China. SOHO 3Q is now Shanghai and Beijing’s largest operator of coworking spaces. Zhang Xin is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Born in Beijing in 1965, Zhang Xin moved to Hong Kong at the age of 14, where she worked as a factory girl for five years. Determined to pursue higher education, she made her way to England where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Sussex University and a Master’s degree in Development Economics from Cambridge University.
After working in investment banking at Goldman Sachs and Travelers Group, she returned to Beijing to co-found SOHO China with her husband Pan Shiyi. In 2007, SOHO China was successfully listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong raising proceeds of USD $1.9 billion, Asia’s largest commercial real estate IPO to date.
She sits on the Global Board of Advisors at the Council on Foreign Relations, and is also a member of the Harvard Global Advisory Council. Active on Weibo, China’s “twitter,” where she has over 10 million followers, Xin frequently shares her views on business, current affairs and architecture.
Xin is deeply involved in philanthropy. In 2005 she and her husband Pan Shiyi established the SOHO China Foundation, a charity organization that promotes education to improve social mobility. In 2014, the SOHO China Foundation launched the SOHO China Scholarships, a USD $100 million initiative providing financial aid for Chinese students at leading international universities. Gift agreements totaling USD $25 million have been signed with Harvard and Yale University. The Scholarships currently supports more than 30 Chinese students pursuing undergraduate degrees at the partner universities.
Zhang Xin and her husband Pan Shiyi are also committed to promoting environmental causes. In 2015, they joined the Breakthrough Energy Coalition spearheaded by Bill Gates to fund technology developments that will enable a zero-emissions energy future.