Dong Mingzhu

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Dong Mingzhu
Dong Mingzhu (cropped).JPG
Native name
ResidenceZhuhai, China
OccupationChairwoman of Gree Electric Appliances
Children1 son [1]

Dong Mingzhu (Chinese: 董明珠; pinyin: Dǒng Míngzhū) (born 1954) is a Chinese businesswoman. She is the Chairwoman of Gree Electric.[1] In 2013, Dong was named as "Forbes Asia "Woman in the Mix" for business. The New York Times called her "one of the toughest businesswomen in China."[2]

Early life[edit]

Dong was born the youngest of seven children in a working-class family. When she was a child, she wanted to be a soldier.[2] Dong graduated from a specialized institute in Wuhu, city in Anhui province in 1975, with a degree in Statistics. After graduation, Dong got an administrative job at local government chemistry laboratory in Nanjing for 15 years.[2][3]


In 1990, at age 36, recently widowed Dong left her three-year-old son to his grandmother and quit her job at the government research facility in order to move to the more economically developed Zhuhai in Guangdong province and to find a new job.[citation needed]

Joining Haley (Gree Electric's predecessor) as a salesperson, she made her mark from the start, recovering massive debts in a little over one month. From then on, her increasing accomplishments[citation needed] gained notice from higher ups and promotions came in quick succession. By 1994, Dong was made head of sales, where she innovated the sales process. This determined flexibility would become one of her most notable characteristics throughout her career. By the time Gree Electric went public in 1996, Dong was deputy president, and later company president in 2001.[4] In 2012, she gained the position of Gree Electric's chairwoman as well. She was also the chairwoman of Gree Electric's parent company Gree Group until November 2016.

Dong has transformed Gree Electric under her management, developing it into the world's largest household air conditioning unit maker, and China's largest household appliance maker (generating a record breaking 140 billion Yuan revenue in 2014). Dong also played a key role in shifting Gree Electric's sales from traditional to online, which contributed significantly to the company's 2014 record breaking revenue.[5] Gree Electric's company stock has risen 2300% during her stay.[6]

She aims to transform Gree Electric into a global brand,setting a quality example for other Chinese manufacturers to grow towards, and also "stemming bias against Chinese made products by helping the world better understand China."[3] Gree Electric has also strived to develop new technology under her leadership, looking into solar energy, entering China's smartphone market, spurring growths in robotic technology, investing in recycled treatment centers nationwide beginning in 2011, and acquiring electric car maker Yinlong in March 2016.[4][6][7]

Dong has displayed a strong nationalistic streak over the year, and has been a member of the 10th, 11th, and 12th National People's Congress.[4] She is a member of the China Democratic National Construction Association, as well as a member of the 10th Executive Committee of All-china Women's Federation.[2] Dong currently holds senior positions in a dozen industry, women's and charity organizations, and has taught university business classes.[4]


In 2013, Dong was named one a Forbes Asia "Woman in the Mix" for business, and in 2006 was ranked amongst the "Magnificent 10" economic leaders in China.[8][4] Fortune ranked her as the 4th Most Powerful Woman in Asia-Pacific in 2015, moving her four places up from her 2013 ranking of 8th most powerful.[6] In 2015, Dong topped Fortune's list of the Most Influential Chinese Businesswomen for the second consecutive year.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Dong married soon after graduating from university, but was widowed when her son turned two-year-old.[4] She has not married since after, stating that she values her independence and if get married "you have responsibilities toward another person."[2]

Dong has published two books, including an autobiography titled Regretless Pursuit which was a bestseller in China.[2][9][10] Regretless Pursuit was made into a television series on China Central Television.[9][10]

She has not had a day off in 20 years, and says that she will take some rest when she retires.

She enjoys reading, including books like Jane Eyre and Gone with the Wind, which are her favorite books.[2] She collects shawls.[9]

She is widely known for her reputation as the toughest woman in China, and peers have been quoted saying "Where Sister Dong walks, no grass grows."[2]


  1. ^ a b "Dong Mingzhu". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Tatlow, Didi Kristen. "Setting the Pace With Toughness". Asia Pacific. The New York Times. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b Ren, Daniel (23 December 2014). "Succeeding by Degrees". South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Dong Mingzhu: A Powerful Self-made Chinese Businesswoman". Brand International. Brand International. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b Borromeo, EL (21 November 2015). "Gree's Dong Mingzhu Top's Fortune's Most Influential Businesswomen in China". Yibada. Yibada. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "MPW Asia-Pacific 2015". Fortune. Fortune. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  7. ^ Scott, Mary E. (6 April 2016). "Asia Power Women 2016". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Asia's Women In The Mix, 2013: The Year's Top 50 for Achievement In Business". Forbes Asia. Forbes. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  9. ^ a b c "Dong Mingzhu". Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen. Forbes. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ a b Coonan, Clifford. "The house that Sister Dong built". Business. The National (Abu Dhabi). Retrieved 5 March 2013.

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