Fan Bingbing is still China’s biggest star

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Fan Bingbing tops the Forbes China Celebrity List for the second year in a row, which means I get to reuse the same photo as last year.

Riding on her foray into Hollywood, actress Fan Bingbing has retained her top-ranking position on the Forbes China Celebrity List. The list, which ranks the top 100 Chinese celebrities based on media exposure and income, sees more Mainland stars this year than ever before, with 60 (or so) of the listees basing their careers in Mainland China. Aside from a handful of actors, however, the biggest A-listers were overwhelming from Hong Kong or Taiwan, with 14 of the top 20 hailing from either of the two islands.

According to Forbes, Fan raked in nearly $20 million last year, putting her on par with Jennifer Aniston and Kanye West. The celebrity with the deepest pockets, Jay Chou, banked $25 million, around the same as Ben Affleck or Buffy creator and Avengers director Joss Whedon.
Despite the success of China’s biggest stars (this year’s top 10 took home $20 million more than last year’s), the overall earnings of the Celebrity 100 decreased for a second consecutive year, accumulating $65 million less wealth than the year before. However, the celebrities still managed to bring home more than half a billion dollars between them.

Actors and actresses made up the bulk of the list, accounting for 72 of the celebrities. It is common for celebrities to both sing and act in the Chinese entertainment industry, however, and several were identified as both.
Of the 29 singers and musical groups on the list, only six were from Mainland China. Of those six, five were involved in reality television singing competitions, with the exception of Hong Kong-launched Faye Wong.
Mainland Pianists Lang Lang and Li Yundi maintained their presence on the list, with Li (ranked 56) overtaking Lang Lang (57) for the first time.

New entrants to the list include Tiny Times author Guo Jingming who debuted at 27, model Zhang Liang of Where Are We Going, Dad? fame, and I Am A Singer runner-up G.E.M and Taiwanese actor Kai Ko just sneaking onto the list at 91 and 97 respectively.

Meanwhile, notable dropouts include Taiwanese film director Ang Lee (previously ranked 29), Hong Kong funnyman Stephen Chow (24), Jet Li (41), Nobel laureate Mo Yan (16), Olympic gold medalist Sun Yang (31), former Super Junior member Han Geng (87), and Super Girls Chris Li (15) and Jane Zhang (45).

Rank Name   Income (million RMB) Income (million USD) Income rank
1 Fan Bingbing 范冰冰 122 19.5 4
2 Andy Lau 刘德华 89 14.2 5
3 Jay Chou 周杰伦 156.5 25.0 1
4 Huang Xiaoming 黄晓明 66.5 10.6 10
5 Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 56 9.0 14
6 Yang Mi 杨幂 52 8.3 18
7 Lin Chi-ling 林志玲 60 9.6 13
8 Li Na 李娜 141.5 22.6 2
9 Nicky Wu 吴奇隆 67 10.7 9
10 Jackie Chan 成龙 54 8.6 17

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Weibo Wednesday: January 15, 2014

This week’s Weibo Wednesday will kick off with three couples — can you guess who they are? First is none other than Yang Mi and Hawick Lau, who got married in Bali on January 8th.

杨幂: 谢谢今天的一切,谢谢所有的祝福,谢谢你们,我嫁喽

Thank you for everything today, thank you for all of your blessings, thank you all, I am married.

Some sharp-eyed netizens noticed an ironic Weibo post from October 2011, shortly after Yang Mi and Hawick filmed the MV for “Thorny Embrace” (刺猬的拥抱) together. In it, Yang Mi denies the relationship rumors with Hawick… only to go public not three months later, on January 8th, 2012.

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Fan Bingbing overthrows Jay Chou as most influential celebrity on Forbes China Celebrity 100 list

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Forbes China has ranked celebrities from the Greater China region in its 10th annual star power list. The list is aggregated by the magazine based on factors such as print and digital media exposure and income.

Apparently not one to highlight gender differences, the Associated Press calls her a “local heartthrob.” Actress Fan Bingbing jumps two places from 2012 to take the crown as China’s top celebrity from Jay Chou, this year’s runner-up, according to Forbes China. This is the first time since Yao Ming‘s six-year streak, from 2004-2009, that a Mainland Chinese celebrity has topped the list. The top 100 combined suffered an 11% paycut this year, earning ¥482,600,600 less than the previous year. Nevertheless, the stars still took home more than ¥3.8 billion, or around US$613 million. Donnie Yen is this year’s highest earning celebrity, adding ¥115 million to his pockets.

The list further fuels celebrity tabloid rivalries as Fan Bingbing’s (1) red carpet attention and upcoming Hollywood roles outshine Zhang Ziyi (5) as Western media’s Chinese actress of choice. Fellow Bingbing, Li, drops from 20 to 26.

Jay Chou (2) again beats out Wang Leehom (12), despite Wang’s currently ongoing, successful world tour. And Li Yundi (55) plays second fiddle to fellow classical pianist Lang Lang (51). Meanwhile, Super Girl Chris Li (15) outperforms Jane Zhang (45) undeterred by Zhang’s bigger bank account.
Similarly, Jet Li (41) lined his pockets more than higher-ranked kung fu superstar Jackie Chan (4).

Actor Takeshi Kaneshiro, the go-to face in Asia for men’s luxury goods, drops off the list after a slow descent over previous years. His touted successor, Godfrey Gao, is also absent from the list.

Author Mo Yan (16) storms onto the list for the first time, thanks to his Nobel Prize in literature (and accompanying $1.2 million in prize money). And Yang Mi (7) cements herself as one of China’s tops actresses, jumping from 13th place last year, and 92nd the in 2011.

Rank Name   Income (million RMB) Income (million USD) Income rank
1 Fan Bingbing 范冰冰 110 17.6 2
2 Jay Chou 周杰伦 104.2 16.7 3
3 Andy Lau 刘德华 47 7.5 21
4 Jackie Chan 成龙 66 10.6 13
5 Zhang Ziyi 章子怡 59.5 9.5 16
6 Eason Chan 陈奕迅 70.1 11.2 12
7 Yang Mi 杨幂 43.7 7.0 28
8 Huang Xiaoming 黄晓明 75.9 12.1 9
9 Jolin Tsai 蔡依林 110.2 17.6 4
10 Lin Chi-ling 林志玲 49 7.8 20

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Ethnic minorities in Chinese entertainment

Does she look Chinese to you?

One of the most frustrating things about introducing new Chinese artists are the “they don’t look Chinese” comments. Considering China has 56 official ethnicities with their ancestral homes in China, and who knows how many unofficial ones, and 1.3 billion people, it’s unfair to homogenize any part of China (or of the world ). And according to wikipedia, minority populations are rising at 7 times the rate of the Han Chinese because the One Child Policy only applies to Han Chinese (no, China is not trying to eliminate its minorities via One Child).

Photographer Chen Haiwen recently paid a tribute to the diversity of China by producing a series of photos that captured this diversity. Along with a team of photographers, he traveled across China for a year to take photos of a family from each ethnic group. Those, along with thousands of other photos captured on the trip, were put on display in Beijing’s WangFuJing Street last month. zhouzhzh on youtube has a slideshow of all the photos.

Here’s a spot light on some, definitely not all, minority Chinese artists in pop culture.

Super Girl He Jie

our Yi-group
manager: Super Boy Ji Jie and brand manager for Bacardi
members: two powerful and tomboyish songstresses SM’s lost cause Zhang Liyin
and really lost cause Super Girl He Jie
and boyband Blue Bird Flying Fish‘s 70.
HuHu’s not Yi, but he’s there by association. Maybe Zhang Yunjing can join, too, by marriage. (more…)

Epic Post 2: No More Lip-Synching

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Lin Miaoke and Yang Peiyi

This bit of news is really, really old and I was not going to post on this at all, but I began writing an introduction to another post that eventually evolved into its own long-winded post, and so here we are with me talking politics all over again because I couldn’t bear to just drop what I had already spent time on. Btw, Epic post basically means political post now.

China, as you may know from reading other sites, has recently decided to ban lip-synching from commercial performances, which in my opinion was a decision that came from older people in the industry frustrated by the recent flood of idol singers and not for other reasons that western news sources like to conjecture about, such as the lip-synching girl, Lin Maoke at the Olympics. Basically the first 3/4 of this post talks about why I am so pissed at how the articles that came out about this revelation (revealed by Chinese committe head himself) were so ridiculously flawed, as the articles often were during the Olympics, and I think it’s ridiculous that this is still being stated as truth, like the Variety article I linked to. The last 1/4 talks about the Chinese entertainment circle and how and whom the ban would affect. Beware, this is even longer than my Gong Li Epic Post. (more…)