From internet sensation to China's youngest female billionaire: meet 24-year-old Zhang Zetian

Photo: @zetianzzz/Instagram

It’s not every day that you see a 24-year-old female billionaire — let alone one that first found fame through a viral photo.

Zhang Zetian was listed in Chinese New Fortune magazine’s top 500 rich list this May, making her the youngest female billionaire in the country. The accolade has been repeated in by Chinese and Hong Kong media like the South China Morning Post newspaper and Jing Daily online magazine.

China is home to many young female billionaires, many of whom are self-made.

Thanks to Zhang’s well-groomed Instagram page, we’re about learn a little more about her life. Take a look at the slides below to learn more about the young billionaire.

This is 24-year-old Zhang Zetian, who also goes by Nancy.

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Zhang first rose to fame in 2009 when a photo of her holding a cup of tea went viral.


Zhang, then in her mid-teens, was given the Chinese nickname Naicha meimei or 'milk tea little sister'

In 2014, she starred in a promotional video for that summer's Youth Olympics in Nanjing.

However, she resisted further fame, according, according to SCMP, and refused a movie role by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who made 'House of Flying Daggers' and 'The Great Wall.'

She was admitted into China's prestigious Tsinghua University in 2011, and spent one year on exchange at New York's Barnard College.

It was there that she met her future husband Liu Qiangdong, who is 19 years her senior.

She captioned the above photo 'Got photographed by the paparazzi again.'

The couple publicly denied their relationship for a long time, saying they were 'just classmates,' according to New Fortune magazine.

Liu, who also goes by Richard, is the 16th richest person in China.

Andrew Burton/Getty

Liu had the 16th-highest net worth in China last year, according to Forbes' China Rich List. The publication also ranked him the 174th richest billionaire in the world.

He's the founder and CEO of Chinese e-commerce company -- one of Alibaba's major competitors.

Andrew Burton/Getty
Liu Qiangdong celebrates his company's initial public offering on the Nasdaq exchange in 2014. had over 236 million active customer accounts in FY 2016, the company's financial statements noted. Alibaba recorded 423 active accounts the year before.

The couple married in August 2015.

News of the nuptials got out thanks this photo of the couple in a Beijing courthouse.

They welcomed their first child -- a girl -- in March 2016. A few months later, the couple invested in an Australian baby formula company.

Zhang and Liu bought a 17.3% stake in Bubs Australia, The Australian reported.

This wasn't their only personal investment. Zhang and her husband's personal portfolio consist of six companies, including Uber China.

Zhang can be partially credited for's success, as she helps promote the site's fashion and luxury goods businesses.

The fashion aficionado met industry legend Iris Apfel this April.

Zhang's travels have taken her to Paris, Bordeaux, Cannes, California, Geneva, Milan, Venice and Cambridge -- this summer alone.

The social media-savvy investor documents her travels on her Instagram feed.

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