The 20 Most Famous Celebrities In China

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Who are the most famous people in China?

The internet has opened up much of the world, information travels freely. Videos from Afghanistan to Zanzibar pop up all across your news feed. Celebrities, entertainers and athletes cross borders and bring their talents and joy to billions of people across the world.

But what about China? The most populated country in the world has a massive entertainment industry and a huge consumer class. Entertainers in China have followings that even the biggest US celebrities might be jealous of, singers, actors, directors, athletes and producers making waves across the nation.

While much of the world is interested in events in China, language and a closed internet slows down the movement of information. XpatNation utilizes the insights and experiences of expatriates and immigrants to help break the barriers of information, be it for celebrity news, policy or culture.

So who are the entertainers and athletes in China who have captured a massive audience of over a billion people?

Fan Bingbing – (Pronounced – Fan – B IH ng B IH ng)

Fan BingbingImage Source: Asian.WIki

Fan Bingbing is a Chinese actress, born on September the 16, 1981 she is widely considered to be the prettiest woman in China. 

She is best known in China for her TV series “My Fair Princess”

Fan has also appeared in Iron Man 3, playing the role of Wu Jiaqi, and in X-men Days Of Future Past, bringing to life the character “Blink”

Gao Yuanyuan (Pronounced – Gow – Y ew ah n :with a similar sound to the Chinese Currency)

Gao YuanyuanImage Source: Baomoi

Gao Yuanyuan is a Chinese actress and model, born on October the 5th, 1979, Chinese men throughout the nation dream of marrying a woman who looks like her.

She was honored to be a torch bearer at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

She is best known for the TV series “The Heaven Sword” and “Dragon Saber”

Liu Yifei (Pronounced – Leo – y ee f ai)

Liu YifeiImage Source: ZZXU.com

Liu Yifei is also a Chinese actress, born on August 25th, 1987 her beauty is regularly described as “completely out of this world” in China

Best known for the TV series “The Return of the Condor Heroe” Liu is widely known as “Fairy Sister” in China, due to her delicate image. 

You might remember her from her role in The Forbidden Kingdom, or Golden Sparrow. Or perhaps you may have gone to school with her! She briefly lived in New York city and attended the Louis Pasteur Middle School 67 in Queens NY.

Lin Chi-ling (Pronounced – Lin – G – L ih ng) 

Chinese Actress from Hong Kong Lin Chi-lingImage Source: Shxinke.net

Lin Chi-ling was born in Taiwan and has built herself up an impressive career both as an actress and a major model, she was born on November 29th, 1974. Her quick rise to fame, lead to the term “The Lin Chi-Ling Phenomenon”

She is famous because of her sweet voice. Her voice is recognized across China, considered sweet and cute, she is one of the top voices for commercials in China. But she has more than just her looks and voice. Attending university in Canada, she completed a double major from the University of Toronto in Western Art History and Economics. She has also established a charity in China supporting with child welfare. 

She is best known in China for the movie “Red Cliff”

Zhao Wei (Pronounced J ow  – Way)

Zhao WeiImage Source: World Beautiful Faces

Zhao Wei is a famous Chinese actress, pop singer, film director and investor, she was born on March 12th 1976. 

She is likely the most famous and richest actress in China, people from the ages 8 to 80 in China should know her.

She is a friend of Jack Ma and invested in the film company attached to Alibaba Group. Forbes estimates her and her husband’s net worth to be upwards of $1 billion, making her the wealthiest working actress alive. 

She is also best known for the TV series “My Fair Princess” The show originally ran for two seasons in 1999, and was heavily watched across China. Remakes and re-releases have not fared quite as well, but many of the original cast have gone on to become very successful.

Shu Qi (Pronounced  Shoe – ch ee)

Shu QiImage Source: Baomoi

Shu Qi is a Taiwanese actress and model, born on April the 16th, 1976.

She was originally known for pornographic films but transitioned into major Chinese blockbusters later in her career. 

She is often called the sexiest woman in China.

Best known in China for the movie “Viva Erotica.” You might remember her for her role in “The Transporter”, playing the character Lai, or her minor role in the 2008 movie “New York I Love You”

Sun Li (Pronounced S UU n – Lee)

Hong Kong Actress Sun LiImage Source: Spcnet.tv

Sun Li is a Chinese actress, born on September the 26th, 2982 

She plays main characters in many TV series, consider as the queen of television world in China.

You might remember her for her role as Zhen Huan in the US remake of  “Empresses in the Palace”

Angelababy (Pronounced Angela Baby)

AngelababyImage Source: Emdep.vn

Angelababy is a Chinese model and actress, she was born on February the 28th 1989. 

She is a popular topic in China because she has frequently denied she had plastic surgery. 

Best known in China for the movie Rise of the Legend. She also featured in the Hollywood hit “Independence Day” and “Resurgance” 

Her name “Angelababy” comes from her English name Angela and her nickname for herself “Baby”

Guo Jingjing (Pronounced Gwo – g ee n g ee n)

Gold Medalist Olympian Diver Guo Jingling

Gui Jingjing is a Chinese Olympian Diver, she was born on October the 15th, 1981. 

She won the gold medal for diving in the 2004 Olympic games, her fame really took off when she won gold at the 2008 Olympic games in Bejing. 

Married the grandson of one of the richest business people in Hong Kong.

After winning gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics she quickly became the face of many brands and advertisement deals across China.

Faye Wong (Pronounced As Spelled) 

Faye WongImage Source: En.r8lst.com

Faye Wong is a Chinese singer-songwriter and actress, born on the 8th of August, 1969. 

She is the most wellknown singer in China from the 90s. People named her as the queen of Chinese pop music.

Best known for the song Red Bean. Check it out below with English subtitles. 
Video Thumbnail
Red Bean (紅豆) by Faye Wong (王菲) with English Subtitles

Daniel Wu (Pronounced as spelled)

Germany Berlin Film Festival That Demon Within Photo CallImage Source: Celebrities pictures

Daniel Wu is a Chinese American actor, born in California on the 30th of September, 1974. 

He is considered to be one of the most handsome men in China.

Best known in China for the movie New Police Story, he also played the role of Willian Wu in the “Europa Report”, and Sunny in “Into The Badlands” More recently he played the role of Gul’dan in “Warcraft: The Begining” which famously flopped in the US, but was a huge success in China, making well over $200 million. Much of the success in China was credited to Daniel’s hard work at promoting the film across the country. 

Takeshi Kaneshiro (Pronounced Ta Keh Shee –  K ah n ai sh IH r oh)

Takeshi KaneshiroImage Source: The Place 2

Takeshi Kaneshiro is a Taiwanese-Japanese actor, born in Taiwan on October the 11th 1973. He studied at the American School in Taipei.

He is the other “most handsome man in China” He is notoriously private and rarely gives interviews, but he once sat down with MalayMailOnline he comes across as humble, not really understanding the hype behind his own good looks, and consistently self-deprecating about his own acting skills, he’s not sure he if he is actually any good or not. 

Best known in China for the movie “Chungking Express”

Huang Xiaoming (Pronounced H w ah ng –  Shao-ming)

 Image Source: Alchetron

Huang Xiaoming is a Chinese actor, born on November 13th 1977.

Huang is possibly the vainest man in China, he is married to fellow actress Angelababy, the famous actor and actress couple, constantly deny they have had plastic surgery, but Chinese fans don’t believe them. In fact, much of China don’t really like them, but they are famous none the less, almost a love-hate relationship, not too dissimilar to a host of US celebs. Kardashians Cough Cough.

Best known for the TV series Shanghai Bund

Wu Xiubo (Pronounced W-oo – Show bu)

Wu XiuboImage Source: Pinterest

Wu Xiubo is a Chinese actor, musician, and producer and all round charming man. Wu was born on September the 5th 1968. 

People in China think he looks like Robert Downey Jr, and we can almost see the resemblance. 

He is the most charming man in China, almost George Clooney like. 

Best known for the TV series “Before the Dawn” for which he received many awards for playing the role of protagonist Xinjie Liu

Wallace Huo (Pronounced Wallace W oh) 

Wallace HuoImage Source: Soompi

Wallace Huo is a Taiwanese actor, born on December the 26th, 1979

Wallace is one of the hardest working actors in Chinese film and television. Filming or releasing 4 films in 2016 alone, alongside his hit tv show “Love Me If You Dare”

Jay Chou (Pronounced Jay Jo)  

Jay ChouImage Source: Wsj

Jay Chou is a Taiwanese musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, actor, director and all round rockstar! 

He was one of the first Chinese musicians to introduce rap music to China. He grew up idolizing Bruce Lee and named his most famous song after the actors iconic Nunchucks. 

He is considered the king of Chinese pop music. But he has made a name for himself as an actor ever since he made his debut in 2005 in the film “Initial D” Jay made his Hollywood debut in 2011 in the film “The Green Hornet” he is set to revive his role in the upcoming sequel. He has also had musical roles in “Kung Foo Panda 3” “The Interview” and the recently released “Now You See Me 2”  

Jay, has toured the world, and sung to over 10 million fans.  

Best known for the song Shuang Jie Kun

Video Thumbnail
Jay Chou - Nunchuks (Shuang Jie Gun)

Ning Zetao (Prounounced N Ing – Ze Tow)

Ning ZetaoImage Source: Tumblr

Ning is a Chinese competitive swimmer, born on March the 6th, 1993. He is also Lieutenant in the Chinese Navy, following in the footsteps of his parents and both his grandfathers who all served in the Chinese military. 

At age 14 he was accepted into the Ning was accepted to the PLA Navy’s swimming team, where he continues his training as a professional swimmer. His boyhood good looks, along with his respected military career and family military dynasty makes hm a big hit with young patriotic Chinese fans. 

Chinese women, young and old, poor and wealthy think he is handsome and has perfect body shape, the young girls wish they could marry him.

Best known for 2015 World Aquatics Championships

Leung Chiu-wai (Pronounced Learn-g  – Chow – Way)

Leung Chiu-WaiImage Source: Lucie Otto Bruc

Leung is a Chinese actor, born on July the 27th, 1962. After his father walked out on his family at the age of just eight, Leung regressed into himself, becoming shy, and repressing his emotions. But once he entered the acting world he soon realized that he could release his emotions and really bring characters to life. 

He is a multi-award winning actor, including a best actor win at the Cannes film festival. It is said that His eyes can talk to the audiences.

in 2008 he married his long time partner Carina Lau, who is also a major actress in China. The couple had been together for 19 years before they officially tied the knot. The length of their relationship added to the excitement of the wedding, and it was a major event for Chinese tabloid papers, with some reported to have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for access to the ceremony.

Best known for the movie “In the Mood for Love” The film he won his best actor award for at the Cannes Film Festival.

Leslie Cheung (Pronounced Leslie – ch ae ng)

Leslie CheungImage Source: Alchetron

Leslie Cheung was a Chinese singer and actor, he was born on the 12th of September, 1956 and sadly died at the young age of 46 in 2003. Leslie suffered from depression, and sadly took his own life in a suicide that shook all of Asia. 

He had started out his career as a teenage heart throb and is considered the founding father of Cantonese pop music. He was even famous beyond China, performing often in Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. With 16 performances in Japan, he holds the record for most concerts by a foreign artist in Japan.

In a CNN vote for the most iconic musician, Leslie came in third, behind Michael Jackson and the Beatles.

He was also the first famous openly gay celebrity in China. Although in an interview in 2001 with Time Magazine, he was quoted as saying “It’s more appropriate to say I’m bisexual.” Alluding to his past relationships with women. From 1997 until his death Leslie dated Daffy Tong Hok-Tak

Cheung is best known for the movie “Farewell My Concubine” and his many many C-pop songs. 

Wang Han (Pronounced W AA ng – H ah n)

Wang HanImage Source: Wikiwand

Wang Han is a Chinese television shows host, he was born on April 7th, 1974, his show “Day Day Up” is one of the most popular entertainment and talk shows in the country. Han is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable hosts in the history of Chinese TV shows. 

Han, of course has a massive writing staff, but the Chinese general public think of him as an expert on Chinese culture.

So there you have it, the most famous entertainers in China right now. These celebrities have an insanely massive pull. Some of them have hundreds of millions of fans, with huge potential to monetize from a growing consumer class, and perhaps even greater potential to sway public opinion and promote China to the world.    

This article was written by the XpatNation team with help from our Chinese Xpat writers and designers.


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