Yu Wenxia won Miss World 2012 in Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, the second Chinese national to do so after Zhang Zilin in 2007.
On 30 June 2012, Yu was crowned Miss China 2012 at the Jinhai Lake Resort in Beijing.
On 18 August 2012, Yu won the 2012 Miss World pageant held in Dongsheng Fitness Center Stadium, Ordos City, Inner Mongolia, China. She was also named Miss Talent, where she performed her winning talent—Chinese folk song on stage during the final.
When asked how she felt at winning the Miss World crown, she replied:
Surprised and very happy. Winning Miss World is a big responsibility; there is so much to learn. I really admire Zhang Zilin, my country’s first Miss World winner, I hope to follow her example, but at the same time make my own mark. I very much look forward to working with the Miss World Organisation sharing my compassion and love and helping to improve the lives of many people throughout my year of reign.
During her reign as Miss World, Yu traveled to the United Kingdom, Italy, France, South Africa, India, Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, United States, Haiti, Brazil, Turkey, Ghana, Hungary, Ukraine and China.