Xuejie Wong has been bridging Chinese investors with U.S. entrepreneurs for investment in New York real estate projects since 2010.
BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
She uses her personal experience of being an immigrant and professional legal experience to ensure that the Chinese communities in New York City are self-sustaining.
Wong, who was born and raised in Shanghai, migrated to the United States at age 14 with her parents in the 1980s due to China’s economic state during that era.
Although her father was a chief engineer, her mother started off working in a sewing factory and Wong worked as a part-time tutor at her high school, taking in a minimum wage of $3.25. Wong said that every member of her family had to earn a living upon arriving in the United States.
To help contribute to her family’s income, 14-year-old Wong would work for two hours after school tutoring children and, on weekends, earned $25 an hour for tutoring. During the summer, Wong would help her mother at the factory.
Her mother also worked at flea markets, selling clothing that she made, before later opening a small restaurant, where Wong also worked.
“It was all pretty challenging—however, it was the sense of urgency,” said Wong. “In hindsight, that helped out as I grew up and began managing finances. It helped me to be independent of myself and to make a living, rather than living off of what I could get from my parents.”
Wong attended Colombia University, majoring in computer science, which landed her a job on Wall Street.
In 2002, she founded the Law Offices of Xuejie Wong, PPLC, providing legal services for immigration, EB-5, matrimonial, real estate, commercial contracts and litigation, labor disputes, personal injury and criminal defense. She currently has two law offices—one in Flushing and another in Chinatown.
In 2010, two years after the nation’s economic crisis, Wong dove into real estate. She said that she was able to work with the city’s underserved Chinese community, who lived in two of the city’s neighborhoods that were booming in terms of real estate.
“There are more immigrants coming to the country, so you see the need,” said Wong. “That’s why Flushing’s market is going over the roof compared to Bayside and Great Neck. There are so many immigrants and people love to be grouped together in a convenient place that could be a self-sufficient society.”
Wong said that she intends for her real estate organization—Research Institute Joined Affiliation with China Real Estate Club – to continue to help U.S. and Chinese businesses collaborate.
“There’s a great trend, although there’s very tight foreign currency control in China,” said Wong. “People in China want to invest in the United States. The U.S. is one of the safest markets in the world.”
Wong believes that she can open channels for successful joint ventures in the five boroughs.
“The real estate industry is so complex that they need the help of locals to make it successful,” said Wong. “As an attorney—having the best understanding from both cultures—could be that bridge. I can be the best matchmaker in helping and safeguarding, making deals more secure and tighter.”