Alibaba’s Julie Chow Joins Board of


For this week’s edition of People in the News, an e-commerce veteran has joined the board of China’s leading international property site, while a former retail manager for a high-end lingerie brand is now in charge of mall leasing for a Bangkok-based group. A capital markets expert, a mergers and acquisitions maven, and a property agency alum are also donning new titles in Asia’s real estate world, so read on for more details.

Cindy Chow has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Chinese international property portal as a non-executive director, based in Hong Kong. Chow, who also serves as Executive Director of the HK$1 billion ($128 million) Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, brings extensive experience in cross-border sales and technology to her new role at, replacing Peter Philips, who is retiring from the board. Chow joined Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in 2007 and has worked in financial control and planning, most recently as Senior Director of International Finance. Prior to Alibaba, Chow worked for a series of Hong Kong-listed firms, including Hutchison Whampoa Limited, in a range of senior finance roles.

Ricky Zhang has been promoted to General Manager for Investment at Hong Kong’s Link REIT as of last month, after serving as Assistant General Manager – Investment for three years at the Hong Kong-listed investment vehicle. The MBA holder from Canada’s Western University, who is also a Chartered Financial Analyst, is stepping up his responsibilities at the firm at a time when Link REIT is said to be shopping a $14.5 billion set of 17 retail centres.

Melissa Bing is Vice President, Corp Leasing at CP Commercial Development Group, a unit of Thai conglomerate CP (Charoen Pokphand) Group. In her Shanghai-based role, Bing manages and leads all leasing activity for the group’s nine malls in mainland China, including Super Brand Mall in Shanghai’s Lujiazui, aiming to maximize occupancy and drive profitability by securing the best retail tenants. The executive previously worked as Retail Manager at luxury lingerie brand La Perla for a year in Shanghai, after stints at Burberry and Prada. Bing received a master’s degree from Iowa State University in the US.

Ralph Wong is now Director of Real Estate Investments at Blade Capital Limited, a new property investment and corporate advisory firm based in Hong Kong. Wong previously worked as Head of Development and Investment at The Development Studio, where he was responsible for deal sourcing and structuring, site evaluation, bank financing and other efforts at the Hong Kong-based residential and commercial developer for over six years. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors member has also worked as a management trainee at John Swire & Sons (HK), where he was seconded to Swire Properties.

Jimmy Lu has joined Yango Group as Head of M&A, based in Shanghai. Before his move to the Shenzhen-listed commercial real estate firm this month, Lu served as Director of M&A at Shanghai-based property agency Jingruis since March 2015, after spending nearly eight years as Associate Director at Ernst & Young. The member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has also worked at international real estate brokerage DTZ (now Cushman & Wakefield) in Hong Kong.

Parikshat Chawla has joined Leading Real Estate Companies of the World as Director of Business Development for APAC, based in Singapore. The real estate professional brings his expertise in marketing and distribution/channel management in the UK, UAE, and India and South Asia to his new role heading up regional business development activities at the residential brokerage. Chawla previously worked as Head of Project Marketing – Malaysia for property consultancy Knight Frank.

Bolashah has joined high-end residential, commercial and leisure developer DAMAC Properties as a Relationship Manager, after working as an electrical engineer at the State Grid Corporation of China for over two years. In his new role, the Tongji University graduate will focus on global clients looking to invest in luxury properties in Dubai DAMAC Properties has a portfolio of 19,855 completed homes and a pipeline of over 44,000 units across the Middle East.

As usual, if you know of other Asia real estate professionals changing their jobs, getting promoted or just doing something exciting, please feel free to share with the rest of the community here at Mingtiandi.