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These Are China’s Youngest Billionaires

What’s on Weibo explores who the richest kids of mainland China are: a top 10 of China’s youngest billionaires, according to the Forbes List of the World’s Billionaires.

Manya Koetse

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After inheriting a fortune from her father, the 19-year-old Alexandra Andresen has been named the youngest billionaire on the globe by the Forbes World’s Billionaire List. Forbes has got Weibo talking about money.

The teenage girl Alexandra Andresen from Norway is worth an estimated 1.2 billion US$ according to the Forbes billionaires list. The young rich woman became trending on China’s social media site Sina Weibo under the title of ’19-year-old girl becomes world’s youngest multi-millioniare’ (19岁少女成世界最年轻亿万富翁).

In light of this news, What’s on Weibo explores who the richest ‘kids’ of mainland China are: a top 10 of China’s youngest billionaires, according to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires.

No. 1 – Wang Han (王瀚, 28 years old): 1.3 billion US$

chinasyoungestbillionaires

At just 28 years, Wang Han became one of the world’s youngest billionaires – he is number 7 in the international top 10. Wang became a billionaire after inheriting shares in regional airline Juneyao Air (吉祥航空有限公司) from his late father Wang Junyao (王均瑶), who was the founder. According to Forbes,
Wang Han owns 27% of the airline and 14% of department store Wuxi Commercial Mansion Grand Orient (无锡商业大厦大东方股份有限公司). The Juneyao Group also has businesses in the education and food sector. They are also active on social media; Juneyao also has a rather large fanbase on its Weibo account.

No. 2 – Wang Yue (王悦, 32 years old): 1.1 billion US$

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Wang Yue is a newcomer to the list of the world’s youngest billionaires, according to Forbes 2016. He is called China’s “web game billionaire”. Wang earned a fortune being an online and mobile game entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Shanghai Kingnet Technology (上海恺英网络科技有限公司), better known as Kingnet (恺英网络).

No. 3 – Cheng Wei (程维, 33 years old): 1 billion US$

chengweiwhatsonweibo

Cheng Wei (程维, 1983) is CEO of China’s Uber rival Didi Kuaidi (滴滴快滴), a transportation company which was formed in early 2015 as a merge of Cheng’s company Didi Dache and Alibaba’s Kuaidi Dache. Previous to starting his own company, Cheng worked for Alibaba for 8 years and became vice president for Alibaba’s online payment service Alipay. Cheng has a verified Weibo account, but he has not posted much since his rise to fame.

No. 4 – Yang Huiyan (杨惠妍, 34 years old): 4.9 billion US$

2numberwhatsonweibo

Born in 1981, Yang Huiyan from Guangdong’s Foshan is one of the world’s richest women. She became the largest shareholder of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings (碧桂园集团) after her father transferred his holdings to her when she was just 25 years old (also see the featured image). According to its official website, Country Gardens is “a company constantly fighting for the development of a harmonious society.”

No. 5 – Frank Wang Tao (汪滔, 35 years old): 3.6 billion US$

franktao

Wang Tao, also known in English as Frank Tao or Frank Wang, is the founder and CEO of Shenzhen-based DJI, the world’s largest supplier of civilian drones. Forbes describes him as “the world’s first drone billionaire”. Headquartered in China’s “Silicon Valley” Shenzhen, DJI started as a single small office in 2006, and has now turned into to a global workforce of over 3,000. Their offices can be found in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong (dji.com).

No. 6 – Zhang Bangxin (张邦鑫, 35 years old): 1.01 billion US$

zhangbang

Who ever thought after school tutoring could make you rich? Zhang Bangxin (1980) is the cofounder, chairman and CEO of the Beijing-based educational tutoring firm TAL Education Group (世纪好未来教育科技有限公司). The company has been around since 2003, and it provides after-school tutoring for pupils from kindergarten to 12th grade at over 500 locations throughout China. Zhang is also an official Weibo microblogger, but, like his fellow billionaires in this list, he might be too busy making money to actually post on social media.

No. 7 – Cai Xiaoru (蔡小如, 36 years): 1.2 billion US$

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Cai Xiaoru is chairman of Tatwah Smartech (达华智能), a company that is specialized in the research, development, manufacture and distribution of radio frequency identification (RFID). The company produces, amongst others, non-contact IC cards and electronic labels. Cai became a billionaire in mid-2015, following the fast-growing stock price of Tatwah Smartech.

No. 8 – Li Weiwei (李卫伟 aka 李逸飞, 37 years): 1.3 billion US$

37wan

For Li Weiwei, it is all work and all play. The young entrepreneur, who was born in Chengdu city, is the vice chairman of online game company Wuhu Shunrong Sanqi Interactive Entertainment Network Technology (芜湖顺荣三七互娱网络科技股份有限公司). The company is better known under the name of 37wan, a platform that offers high-quality game products. Li Weiwei is also known as Li Yifei (李逸飞).

No. 9 – Zhou Yahui (周亚辉, 39 years): 2 billion US$

zhou

Another billionaire who got rich through the gaming industry is Zhou Yahui (1977) – the CEO of Beijing Kunlun Tech (北京昆仑万維科技股份有限公司). Kunlun Tech is one of China’s biggest web game developers and operators. In January of 2016, NY Times reported that the company paid $93 million for a 60% stake of Grindr, the largest social networking app for gay men in the world. With over 2 million daily users in 196 countries, the app has proven to be a good investment for Zhou.

No. 10 – Wu Gang (吴刚, 39 years old): 1.3 billion US$

wugang

Wu Gang is co-founder and CEO of money management company Beijing Tongchuang Jiuding Investment Management (北京同创九鼎投资管理股份有限公司), better known as JDcapital (九鼎投资), “a leading investment firm with deep roots in equity investment and management”, as it describes itself.

On Weibo, some netizens have asked Norwegian billionaire Alexandra Andresen to come and visit China. With so many other billionaires, the young heiress will certainly have no reason to feel lonely at the top in China.

– By Manya Koetse

Sources:
*163 (2015): http://news.163.com/15/1104/14/B7J6UOEO00014AED.html
*Jiangsu.China.com (2015): http://jiangsu.china.com.cn/html/jsnews/gnxw/2758273_2.html
*Forbes.com (various pages, see in-text links) and the China Rich List sorted by age.

Images:
Featured: Yang Huiyan (http://blog.sina.com.cn)
http://www.ittime.com.cn/news/news_10433.shtml
http://www.eeyy.com/jinjing/2014/
http://uk.china-info24.com/british/tic/ht/20150729/200775.html
http://baike.baidu.com/view/880927.htm
http://startupbeat.hkej.com/?author=12
http://www.cyzone.cn/a/20131114/247015.html
http://money.163.com/15/1216/07/BAULIVAD00252G50.html
http://www.laonanren.com/news/2015-11/104275.htm
http://www.forbes.com/profile/zhou-yahui-1/
http://www.gsm.pku.edu.cn

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Celebs

Female Comedian Yang Li and the Intel Controversy

A decision that backfired: Intel’s act of supposed ‘inclusion’ caused the exclusion of female comedian Yang Li.

Manya Koetse

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“How to look at the boycott of Yang Li?” (#如何看待抵制杨笠#) became a top trending topic on social media site Weibo on Monday after female comedian Yang Li was dismissed as the spokesperson for American tech company Intel over a controversial ad campaign.

On March 18, Intel released an ad on its Weibo account in which Yang says “Intel has a taste [for laptops] that is higher than my taste for men” (“英特尔的眼光太高了,比我挑对象的眼光都高.”)

The ad drew complaints for allegedly insulting men, with some social media users vowing to boycott the tech brand. On Sunday, Intel deleted the ad in question from its social media page and reportedly also removed Yang from her position as their brand ambassador.

The commotion over the ad had more to do with Chinese comedian Yang Li (杨笠) than with the specific lines that were featured in it.

Yang Li is controversial for her jokes mocking men (“men are adorable, but mysterious. After all, they can look so average and yet be so full of confidence“), with some blaming her for being “sexist” and “promoting hatred against all men.”

Since she appeared on the stand-up comedy TV competition Rock and Roast (脱口秀大会) last year, she was nicknamed the the “punchline queen” and became one of the more influential comedians in present-day China. Yang now has nearly 1,5 million fans on Weibo (@-杨笠-).

Yang Li’s bold jokes and sharp way of talking about gender roles and differences between men and women in Chinese society is one of the main reasons she became so famous. Intel surely knew this when asking Yang to be their brand ambassador.

In light of the controversy, the fact that Intel was so quick to remove Yang also triggered criticism. Some (male) netizens felt that Intel, a company that sells laptops, could not be represented by a woman who makes fun of men, while these men are a supposed target audience for Intel products.

But after Yang was removed, many (female) netizens also felt offended, suggesting that in the 21st century, Intel couldn’t possibly believe that their products were mainly intended for men (“以男性用户为主”)? Wasn’t their female customer base just as important?

According to online reports, Intel responded by saying: “We noted that the content [we] spread relating to Yang Li caused controversy, and this is not what we had anticipated. We place great importance on diversity and inclusion. We fully recognize and value the diverse world we live in, and are committed to working with partners from all walks of life to create an inclusive workplace and social environment.”

However, Intel’s decision backfired, as many wondered why having Yang as their brand ambassador would not go hand in hand with ‘promoting an inclusive social environment.’

“Who are you being ‘inclusive’ too? Common ‘confident’ men?”, one person wrote, with others saying: “Why can so many beauty and cosmetic brands be represented by male idols and celebrities? I loathe these double standards.”

“As a Chinese guy, I really think Yang Li is funny. I didn’t realize Chinese men had such a lack of humor!” another Weibo user writes.

There are also people raising the issue of Yang’s position and how people are confusing her performative work with her actual character. One popular law blogger wrote: “Really, boycotting Yang Li is meaningless. Stand-up comedy is a performance, just as the roles people play in a TV drama.”

Just a month ago, another Chinese comedian also came under fire for his work as a brand ambassador for female underwear brand Ubras.

It is extremely common in China for celebrities to be brand ambassadors; virtually every big celebrity is tied to one or more brands. Signing male celebrities to promote female-targeted products is also a popular trend (Li 2020). Apparently, there is still a long way to go when the tables are turned – especially when it is about female celebrities with a sharp tongue.

By Manya Koetse

Li, Xiaomeng. 2020. “How powerful is the female gaze? The implication of using male celebrities for promoting female cosmetics in China.” Global Media and China, Vol.5 (1), p.55-68.

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©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Celebs

The Online Hit of the China-US Meeting in Alaska: Interpreter Zhang Jing

While the China-US meeting is all the talk, it is interpreter Zhang Jing who has hit the limelight.

Manya Koetse

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It probably was not easy to translate the tough talks at the high-level meeting between the U.S. and China in Anchorage. Chinese female translator Zhang Jing became an online hit in China for remaining unflustered, graceful, and accurate.

Over the past days, the U.S.-China strategic talks in Anchorage have been a major topic of discussion on Chinese social media.

The first major U.S.-China meeting of the Biden administration ended on Friday, March 19. Despite the tense start of the meeting and some describing the talks as a “diplomatic clash,” China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪) called the meeting “frank, constructive and helpful,” New York Times reports.

While international media focused on the meeting and what their outcome means for Sino-American relations and the foreign strategies of China and the U.S., many Weibo users focused on interpreter Zhang Jing (张京) who joined the meeting.

One video of the first session of the diplomatic talks shows how Yang Jiechi starts his response to the American side at 8.30 minutes, going on for over 15 minutes until the 24.36-minute mark. Next to him, interpreter Zhang Jing is fiercely taking notes.

When Yang is finished speaking, he glances to foreign minister Wang Yi on his right to let him speak, after which Zhang says, “Shall I first translate?”

While the U.S. side was awaiting the translation, Yang then says: “Ok, you translate,” adding in English: “It’s a test for the interpreter,” after which the American side says “We’re gonna give the translator a raise!”

Zhang then goes ahead and calmly translates Yang’s entire 15-minute speech directed at American secretary Blinken and national security advisor Sullivan.

To give a speedy translation of such a lengthy off-the-record speech is seen as a sign of Zhang’s utmost professionalism as an interpreter, which many on Weibo praise. “She’s my idol,” multiple people write.

On Sunday, the hashtag “China-U.S. Talks Female Interpreter Zhang Jing” (#中美对话女翻译官张京#) had reached 200 million views.

It’s not the first time for Zhang to become an online hit. She was previously also called “the most beautiful interpreter” of the National Congress in 2013.

Zhang Jing is a graduate of the China Foreign Affairs University (外交学院) and has been working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 2007.

Being an interpreter is generally regarded an exciting and attractive job by many Chinese netizens, as the career involves much traveling and international contacts. But the ability to master another language than Chinese is also often admired.

In 2016, a TV drama titled The Interpreters (亲爱的翻译官) became a major hit, featuring Chinese actress Yang Mi who plays a Chinese-French interpreter on her way to start her professional career.

“Translators are usually the ‘heroes behind the scenes’,” one commenter writes, pointing out how rare it is for an interpreter to hit the limelight like this.

“There are still people saying it’s not important to learn English,” another Weibo user writes: “But if that were true, how could we educate brilliant interpreters like Zhang Jing? How else could we quarrel with Americans at the conference table?!”

Many who write about Zhang on Weibo say that she is an example or a role model to them: “I hope that my spoken English one day would be as excellent as hers. This motivates me to try even harder.”

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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