She Started 11 Companies Before She Finally Made A Breakthrough With Lens Technology. Today Zhou Qunfei Is The World’s Richest Self-made Female Billionaire


Zhou Qunfei

Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” If Zhou Qunfei had spent all her days bothering about the condition of her family, without craving for change, then she wouldn’t have been the icon that she is today.


Zhou Qunfei is the founder of Lens technology, one of the biggest technology and Hardware companies in the world. Keep reading to find out how Zhou Qunfei started from nothing to become one of the most successful women in the world.




Sometimes, the most interesting stories come from the most unexpected places. In Zhou Qunfei’s case, her story started in Xiangxiang, Hunan province, China in 1970. She was born with an innocent smile and a pure heart. She didn’t have the slightest idea of what the world had in store for her.


Zhou Qunfei’s family was not well-to-do. They tried so much to live a comfortable life, but sometimes they were forced to endure the harsh living condition.


Zhou Qunfei was born to a father who retired from the army before she was born. Despite not being active in the force, he was still able to put his family together after retirement.


He used the earnings he got from making bamboo baskets and chairs, and also bicycle repairs to provide for his family. However, he couldn’t do that under total comfort due to his partially blinded eyes.


Zhou Qunfei was the youngest of 3 children, and as she grew, she became accustomed to her family’s living conditions. When Zhou Qunfei turned five, an event happened, one which shook her fragile and young mind.


Zhou Qunfei lost her mother to death. At that point in Zhou’s life, one of the vital things she needed was motherly love and support, but unfortunately for her, it was now beyond her reach.


Zhou Qunfei had to adapt fast to her new life without a mother. This experience made her grow up faster than her age.


She started supporting the survival status of her family by rearing animals. Sometimes some of these animals were used for feeding, or sold to earn little profits for her household.


Despite Zhou Qunfei’s living conditions, she was a brilliant child. Due to the intellectual promise she showed at a young, she had the opportunity to enroll in school. She was the only one out of all her siblings that had the opportunity to attend school, as the others had to keep working to support the household.


Although Zhou Qunfei was doing very well in school, she had to drop out when she was only 16 years old. The situation of the family wasn’t in its most favorable moment, and Zhou had to seek greener pastures elsewhere.


Zhou Qunfei moved out of the house to live with her uncle and his family. Shortly after moving in with her uncle, Zhou got a job as a migrant worker in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.


She was able to quickly wrap her head around the tasks assigned to her, and during her time working, she gained experiences that slowly prepared her for a more professional career.


At first, Zhou wanted to stay as a government worker, so she could be entitled to the benefits that came with the career line, one of which was financial stability. However, her vision was cut short when she realized she needed a degree to get a shot at this profession.


This drawback didn’t discourage Zhou Qunfei, instead, it made her come up with a solution that would give her a double win.


Zhou Qunfei decided to apply to study at Shenzhen University, but she realized she still needed to work so she could sustain herself while studying.


This made her choose the option of a part-time program at the University. She also started working at companies that were closer to school, so she could conveniently juggle her schedule.


During her part-time studies, Zhou studied various courses that interested her.


She studied accounting, customs processing, and computer operations.Zhou received her certificate after completing and acing her examinations in all these courses. She even got a license that made her eligible to drive commercial vehicles.


Zhou Qunfei was committed to a vision of success at that point in her life. The harsh conditions that shaped her childhood made her a determined individu


al. She had completed her education, what was left for her was to face what the future had to offer.



Zhou Qunfei

Everyone had that dream that never fell into place at the first stage of their career, and it wasn’t any different for Zhou.


Zhou Qunfei had always wanted to become a fashion designer. She had always nurtured that side of her that fancied the art of clothing, and she believed she had the talented hands and mind to achieve this dream.


Well, Zhou Qunfei had to drop that dream when she found herself working for a small watch-making company. Zhou was back to hustling for survival once again living off the 180 yuan she got from the job per month.


Zhou had several working experiences from a young age to determine when something wasn’t right about a job. Zhou decided to tender her resignation letter after working for the company for three months.


In her letter, she stated her dissatisfaction with the working conditions of the company and appreciated the company for giving her the chance to be part of the company’s family while it lasted.


Zhou Qunfei was already preparing to look out for another job when a letter came in from the watch company from which she had just resigned.


The letter contained something she hadn’t expected. It was a promotion letter. Apparently, the factory chief of the company was moved by Zhou’s outspokenness and decided to offer her a promotion letter in response to her resignation.


Zhou Qunfei accepted the offer and continued working for the company. After some time, the watch company went out of business, and Zhou was forced to leave the job.




After the watch factory folded, Zhou Qunfei met with her cousin who advised her to start her company instead of trying out another job.


Zhou took her cousin’s advice and established her company in 1993. She was only 22 at that time, and she was able to start the company with her savings of $3,000.


The purpose of the company was to produce high-quality watch lenses. Zhou already had an experience in this line of business from her previous job at the watch factory, so she knew how to maneuver the market to her advantage.


Zhou Qunfei started the company with her family, as she didn’t have extra funds to cover the expenses of paid workers. Since she couldn’t afford a factory space, she operated the company from her three-bedroom apartment.


Zhou was involved in all the activities of the company. She made sure everything was set in the right order, and also carried out the marketing aspect of the company, assuring potential customers of the product’s value.


The processes of Zhou’s company were simple, and not once would she have thought about the possibility of the company growing in the international market.


However, her hard work was about to pay off after Zhou Qunfei got a life-changing contract.



Zhou Qunfei

Around 2001, Zhou was awarded a contract to create phone screens for a Chinese electronic company. This contract earned her enough money to expand her company, and develop her equipment.


The contract also made her figure out her capability in designing durable screens for mobile phones, so she decided to take up its production.


In 2003, Zhou Qunfei founded Lens technology. It was founded on the purpose of the research, development, production, and sale of touchscreen cover glass.


The company started producing phone screens, tablet screens, and touchscreen modules, among many other lens productions.


Due to the durability of Zhou’s products, Lens technology quickly became a reputable industry, and this led to the breakthrough of Zhou Qunfei.


– Lens technology got contracts from many mobile phone brands like Nokia, HTC, and Samsung.


– In 2007, Zhou Qunfei’s company took over the market after a contract with Apple.


– In 2021, Lens technology had a market capitalization of $22 billion.


– Zhou Qunfei was recognized by Forbes as the world’s richest woman with a self-made fortune.


– According to Forbes, Zhou Qunfei has a net worth estimated at $5 billion.


Her perseverance and hard work supported her till she attained an epic height of success.


Zhou’s values were plain right from the point when she started working to support her family at a young age. These values are a guide to help us fight through the trials of life, and business.


– Hard work doesn’t require age or gender. Your age or gender shouldn’t determine how hardworking you should be. Life doesn’t respect age or gender. You need to work diligently to succeed.


– Persevere through the trials. In the business world, no achievement is going to come to you easily. You should be ready to face these challenges, hold on to your passion, and persevere.


– Develop your mindset. Most times, you might be your limit. You need to expand your knowledge, discover more options, and experiment as much as you want.


Zhou Qunfei wanted to succeed. She tried as many times as possible. She opened many businesses, till she was finally able to make a breakthrough with Lens technology. Zhou Qunfei is an Icon to look up to, and an inspiration to follow.


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