Wildlife Lover He Qiaonyu


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A Stunning Do­na­tion

At the be­gin­ning of 2018, a post on The Ellen Show’s In­sta­gram ac­count stunned ne­ti­zens from all over the world. It an­nounced that a Chi­nese bil­lion­aire has do­nated 1.5 bil­lion US dol­lars ( a third of her as­sets) to save en­dan­gered an­i­mals.

It was the big­gest fig­ure com­mit­ted by a sin­gle donor ever for the con­ser­va­tion of en­dan­gered species in­clud­ing snow leop­ard in China, jaguars in Latin Amer­ica, tigers in Asia, and many oth­ers.

He Qiaonyu, the donor, is a Chi­nese en­tre­pre­neur and the founder of the Beijing Ori­en­tal Land­scape and Ecol­ogy Co. Ltd. Her do­na­tion for wildlife con­ser­va­tion was made in Oc­to­ber of 2017, and at­tracted the at­ten­tion of peo­ple all over the world.

Her Child­hood in the Coun­try­side

Ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg, “The num­ber isn’t the only thing that’s sur­pris­ing about the an­nounce­ment. The source might equally raise eye­brows: The do­na­tion isn’t com­ing from a known Western con­ser­va­tion­ist like Paul Allen, but from a land­scape plan­ner- turne­den­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard who’s based in Beijing.”

Madame He, a hero­ine by many Western me­dia out­lets, was born in a ru­ral vil­lage in Wuyi County of Jin­hua City, Zhe­jiang Prov­ince in the year 1966. Dur­ing her child­hood, she lived in a small house less than 30 square me­ters with six fam­ily mem­bers, and a sow and some piglets that they raised. In the sum­mer, she walked bare­foot un­til she re­ceived a pair of san­dals as a gift for her 10th birth­day. The only time eggs would ap­pear on their din­ing ta­ble was when a new se­mes­ter be­gan.

Later, her fa­ther started a small com­pany buy­ing and sell­ing seedlings, which sparked her love of plants. Un­der the in­flu­ence of her fa­ther, she chose to study at Beijing Forestry Univer­sity and ob­tained her bach­e­lor’s de­gree in 1988.

Busi­ness in Land­scape Gar­den­ing

Af­ter grad­u­a­tion, she worked at the Forestry Bureau of Hangzhou. There she dis­cov­ered busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties in the hor­ti­cul­tural mar­ket.

A visit to a bon­sai ex­hi­bi­tion in Beijing a few years later in­spired her to start her own busi­ness sell­ing the minia­ture trees from Ja­pan.

“Ev­ery­one I met was fond of plants and flow­ers. But there was def­i­nitely a lack of green­ery in peo­ple’s liv­ing and work­ing

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