A list of Women Leaders in Tech in Asia

This is an post from 2018. Please ping me on Twitter or submit a pull request on GitHub if you have suggestions. Thanks!

East Asia is no exception to the norm of male dominated STEM roles. However, as the most populous region in the world, with the largest ecommerce market and leading tech giants, there are more women in tech in Asia than meets the eye. We’re sharing a working list that we keep for women looking to find mentors, or ideas of companies to work for, or are just plain curious.

We started with a list of women as software engineers or in technical positions in South Korea, Japan China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. However, we realized that there were many women in other senior positions in tech who should be counted, too.

Our Loose Definition of Women in Tech

Below, we’ve made a list based on each market below. But we’ll kick off by showing how diverse women in tech can be. For women working in AI and machine learning include Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director at Ethereum Foundation, Kazuna Tsuboi AI Engineer at Microsoft, Renee Wang, Co-founder at Castbox.fm and ContentBox and Dr. Meri Rosich, VP/Head of Data Science in Asia Pacific at Visa. Women are also leading the way for platforms and marketplaces, such as Melissa Yang, COO at Tujia, Emi Takemura MIller, Co-Founder of Peatix, Jean Liu, Founder of Didi Chuxing and Akiko Naka, Founder & CEO, Wantedly.

Please get in touch with us if you have any great women to recommend! Thanks!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known as Asia’s financial hub and has been catching up on startup culture. As a global city, many locals spend years abroad and bring back their experiences in places like Silicon Valley, London, and Sydney. The city also attracts international professionals who leave their industries to build products. Of the East Asian tech hubs, Hong Kong probably has the most visible and vibrant women in tech communities, though most do not have a technical background. Leveraging its historical strengths, many of Hong Kong’s tech companies have been marketplaces, consumer apps, fintech, ecommerce-related, and logistics solutions.

Building a tech product is expensive in Hong Kong, as cost of living is high and the city is short on engineers, as many ambitious ones may choose to go abroad and join international companies. Local engineer salaries are not competitive compared to global standards, but are higher than neighbouring Chinese cities such as Shenzhen and Taipei. However, Hong Kong has large enough tech and developer communities and female founder networks each to provide a supportive ecosystem to settle into.

  1. Michelle Sun, Founder and CEO at FirstCode Academy, Formerly Growth at Buffer
  2. Jane Manchun Wong, reverse app engineer (Twitter account)
  3. Abby Zhang, Co-Founder at YEECHOO
  4. Ada Yip, CEO at Urban Spring
  5. Karena Belin, Co-founder at WHub / Angelhub
  6. Karen Farzam, Co-founder at WHub / Angelhub
  7. Joyce Kan, Formerly at Carshare.hk (exited)
  8. Amanda Wong, Co-Founder at Kipwise
  9. Carla Cheung, Project Manager at Hong Kong Movie
  10. Carmen Lau, Partner and Senior Engineer at Oursky
  11. May Yeung, Oursky
  12. Ten Tang, Skygear team at Oursky
  13. Catherine Tan, Co-Founder at Notey
  14. Cinci EC, Creator at CheckCheckCin Application
  15. Ella Sung, Engineer at ASTRI, Formerly Founder at Mosu
  16. Fiona Foxon, Ex-VP Marketing & Business Development at Tink Labs HK
  17. Claudia Sin, Founder at ChatCampaign, Shoplovers.co, Colzetto
  18. Fiona Lau, Co-Founder at Shopline
  19. Jacqueline Chong, Co-Founder at TalkBox & CSO at Green Tomato
  20. Jenny Lee, Head of Growth at WeLab
  21. Josie Tam, Co-Founder and CTO at Techpacker
  22. Maryann Hwee, Executive Director at FringeBacker
  23. Maureen Baker, Co-Founder at Roll Call Solutions
  24. Michelle Lam, Founder at Spoilt
  25. Mary Cheung, Co-Founder at GoGenie
  26. Nicole Denholder, Founder and CEO at The Next Chapter
  27. Norma Chu, Founder at DayDayCook
  28. Sue Kim, Founding Partner at Libbler
  29. Wendy Chan, COO at PassKit
  30. Xania Wong, Co-Founder & CEO at Jobdoh
  31. Yeone Fok, Founder at SparkRaise
  32. Yilin, Founder at Simple Pieces
  33. Clara Chau, Data Scientist at Socialisn
  34. Sandy Chu, Co-Founder at Beary Digital Studio
  35. Bianca Ho, Co-Founder at Clare.AI
  36. Ivy Luk, Clare.AI
  37. Rebecca Jo-Reddy, Co-Founder of BaoBae
  38. Jah Ying Chung, Founder at LaunchPilots (exited)
  39. Sabrina Yang, COO at NOSH
  40. Maggie Lau, Co-Founder at Sam the Local
  41. Anita Chan, Co-Founder at Sam the Local
  42. Jennifer Cheng, Founder at Glam-It!
  43. Ester van Steekelenburg, Founder at Urban Discovery Asia (iDiscover App)
  44. Sarah Chessis, Founder at Isabella Wren
  45. Jennifer Chong, Co-Founder at Linjer
  46. Reika Shetty, Founder at Mayarya
  47. Juliette Gimenez, Goxip
  48. Sonal Bengani, Co-Founder at Monexo Innovations – Peer to Peer Lending


China is arguably the world’s largest tech market and one of the most innovative for consumers. With high rates of mobile penetration, many urbanites are already more accustomed to digital payments with WeChat Pay and AliPay than cash. In addition to monolithic marketplaces like Taobao, many businesses have already incorporated technology into their operations, such as QR codes to pre-book appointments or using digital signage for product offerings. While many Chinese technology companies are China-focused, some burst onto the regional scene such as Castbox, which was founded by self-taught engineer and ex-Googler, Renee Wang. China’s cities are large enough to support several tech hubs, but Shenzhen probably emerges as one of the best places to do hardware. Shenzhen is also the headquarters of tech giants such as Tencent and Klook, attracting a young, hungry community of engineers from around the country. Shanghai also remains a foreigner-friendly hub to start.

  1. Liu Nan, Co-Founder at Mia.com (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  2. Miranda Qu, Founder at XiaoHongShu (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  3. Melissa Yang, Co-Founder and COO at Tujia (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  4. Jean Liu, Founder of Didi Chuxing (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  5. Tianyue Qu, Co-founder of Quanergy Systems (Silicon Valley-based) (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  6. Cindy Mi Wenjuan, Founder and CEO of VIPKID (US$ 1 billion valuation)
  7. Renee Wang, Co-founder at Castbox.fm
  8. Landy Huang, VP Marketing Insights and Solutions, Google China
  9. Rui Ma, Serial tech entrepreneur, Co-founder at the Transtech Lab, Advisor & Co-host at Techbuzz China Podcast
  10. Angela Li, CEO at Miaozhua Internet Technology Co
  11. Xia Yan, R&D Director at Momenta.AI
  12. Lucy Liu, Co-Founder & COO at Airwallex
  13. Cathy Huang, Chairperson at CBi China Bridge and Co-Founder at SuccessfulDesign.Org
  14. Jane Zhang, Founder and CEO at ShellPay, (Angelinvestor)
  15. Han Mei, COO at HelloBike (Acquired by Youon Bike)
  16. Nisa Leung, Managing Partner at Qiming Venture Parnters
  17. Jenny Lee, Managing Partner at GGV Capital
  18. Peng Lei, Chairwoman at Ant Financial (Parent company of Alipay)
  19. Kathy Xu Xin, Founder and Managing Partner at Capital Today
  20. Anna Fang, CEO of ZhenFund
  21. Liu Zhen, Senior Vice-President at Bytedance (Parent company of Toutiao)
  22. Jane Sun Jie, CEO of Trip.com (formerly Ctrip.com)


Japan has struggled to shake its reputation of conservatism, aversion to risk-taking, and overt sexism for working women. Nonetheless, the country is slowly opening opportunities for foreign workers, of which engineers are in high demand. Japan’s tech community is relatively isolated, not least because of language barriers, which would be a challenge for anyone considering work there. However, Japan has leading global companies in robotics, and some quiet giants in machine learning as well. Tech giants such as Rakuten, Google, and Amazon are opening up opportunities for engineers who want to get their foot in the door. Startups are also a place for women in tech to find opportunities, as some savy startups are looking to an under-appreciated part of the Japanese workforce to hire talent. To better understand this, you can read the article ‘Doing Business in Japan’, listen to the interviews of founder of the job platform Wantedly, Akiko Naka, and founder of female professional job matching platform Waris, Miwa Tanaka.

For those who want an alternative to Tokyo, Fukuoka in Kyushu has been building its reputation as a startup-friendly city with a special startup visa. Also check out Entrepredia, Wantedly, The Bridge, and Disrupting Japan to find more women in tech.

  1. Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director at Ethereum Foundation
  2. Emma Kim, Co-founder at TimeTree (Shut down)
  3. Kazuna Tsuboi AI Engineer at Microsoft TEDxTokyo 2016 — Rinna AI Team
  4. Fumiko Kato, CEO at WAmazing
  5. Naomi Kurahara, Co-founder and CEO at Infostellar
  6. Akiko Naka, Founder & CEO, Wantedly
  7. Chika Tsunada, Founder of Anytimes
  8. Ery Blackstone, Chief Marketing Officer at Kenja Corporation
  9. Emi Takemura MIller, Co-Founder of Peatix
  10. Eri Makita, Founder & CEO at Tsumug Inc
  11. Mio Yamamoto (Managing Director and Co-Founder, World In Tohoku)
  12. Asami Matsumoto (Founder & CEO, Active Connector)
  13. Tove Kinooka (Director, Global Perspectives K.K.)
  14. Hiromi Nakamura – Human Computer Interaction Researcher & Super Creator
  15. Michiko Sakamoto at Studio Ousia
  16. Eiko Nagase, Co-founder at AQWorks
  17. Asami Matsumoto, Founder and CEO at Active Connector

Singapore, Malaysia, South-East Asia

Singapore is perhaps emerging as the regional leader for tech in Asia. Singapore’s government is investing holistically in tech, startups and innovation through education programs, startup funding, and investment-friendly policies that have enticed global firms such as Amazon and Google to set up offices. Singapore’s tech companies include those that cater specifically to the country’s social needs, as well as those that start out with a regional focus. We’ve also included Malaysia because many tech companies may have offices in both places!

  1. Andrea Ewards, The Digital Conversationalist
  2. Hooi Ling Tan, Grab (Founded in Malaysia, now headquartered in Singapore)
  3. Alexis Horowitz-Burdick, Luxola, (Acquired by Sephora)
  4. Rosaline Koo, Founder & CEO, CXA Group
  5. Jia En Teo, Co-founder, Roomorama.com (Closed)
  6. Roshni Mahtani, Tickled Media
  7. Christel Quek, Co-Founder at Bolt
  8. Gwendolyn Regina, Ex-Mashable
  9. Emmie Chang, Founder and CEO at Superbloom & FutureLeague
  10. Audrey Tan, Co-Founder at PlayMoolah
  11. Geng Anli, President BioEnergy Society of Singapore
  12. Gina Heng, Co-Founder and CEO at Marvelstone Group & Founding Partner at LATTICE80
  13. Laura Allen, Co-Founder and COO at Gone Adventurin
  14. Masami Sato, CEO at BIGI
  15. Dr. Meri Rosich, VP/Head of Data Science in Asia Pacific at Visa & Formerly Founder at App Strategy Labs
  16. Natalya Twohill, Founder and CEO, Kiddet & Ivy Cubs
  17. Piruze Sabuncu, Head of SE Asia and Hong Kong at Stripe
  18. Pranoti Nagarkar, Co-founder & CTO at Zimplistic Inventions
  19. Shao Ning Huang, Partner at EntrepreneurFirst
  20. Stephanie Dickson, Founder at Green is the New Black
  21. So-Young Kang, Founder and CEO at Gnowbe, Catalyst and Founder at Awaken Group
  22. Valenzia Yap, Founder at PolicyPal
  23. Virginia Yang, Head of Product, Evie AI
  24. Cheryl Yeoh, Founding CEO of MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre), Angel investor based in Oakland
  25. Wendy Liu, Founder at EZBuy
  26. Rekha Hari, Co-Founder at SoCash
  27. Grace Yun Xia, Principal, Jungle Ventures, formerly at Tencent
  28. Ai Ching Goh and Andrea Zaggia, Piktochart