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Weibo Super Stars: Chinese Celebrities With Most Weibo Followers

They are China’s super stars and have the largest online fanbase in the world. What’s on Weibo has compiled a top 10 of people with the most followers on Sina Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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They are China’s super stars and have the largest online fan base in the world. What’s on Weibo has compiled a top 10 of people with the most followers on Sina Weibo.

The   Sina Weibo social media platform is often called the “Chinese Twitter”. Although Weibo is not really similar to Twitter, it does have the same ‘follower-followee’ system. Weibo users can become a ‘fan’ (粉丝) of another Weibo user, without having to be followed back. Being someone’s ‘fan’ means their posts will show up on your timeline, which you can like, share and comment on.

This is a list of celebrities from mainland China with the biggest fan base. In comparison: the celebrities with the most followers on Twitter are Katy Perry (75 million), Justin Bieber (67 million), and Barack Obama (63 million). The top two of China’s Weibo celebrities have over 78 and 77 million ‘followers’: the largest online fanbase in the world.

 

1. Yao Chen 姚晨

78.168.835 followers.

Yao Chen (1976) is a Chinese actress and Weibo celebrity, who was mentioned as the 83rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. She is also called ‘China’s answer to Angelina Jolie’ (Telegraph).

Yao Chen is not necessarily China’s number one actress, but she was one of the first celebrities to share her personal life on Weibo since 2009, and interact with her fans. On Weibo, she talks about her everyday life, family, news-related issues, work, and fashion. She posts personal pictures every day. The combination of her popularity due to acting work, combined with her frequent Weibo updates and closeness to her fans, have made Yao Chen the number one Weibo celebrity.

yaochen

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2. Chen Kun 陈坤

77.979.847 followers.

Chinese actor and singer Chen Kun (1979, Chongqing) is known for his roles in, amongst others, Painted Skin and Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Chen Kun is not only popular because of his acting work, but also for his looks – he is known to have a large gay fanbase. 

chenkun

 

3. Zhao Wei 赵薇

73.311.919 followers.

Vicky Zhao (1976) is a Chinese film star, singer, entrepreneur and director. She is also known for her work as ambassador for various brands, which has added to her wealth.

Zhao Wei is the world’s wealthiest working actress. Together with actresses  Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun and Xu Jinglei, she belongs to China’s ‘Four Dan Actresses’ (四大花旦): the four greatest actresses of mainland China.

vickyzhao

Zhao Wei regularly updates her Weibo, where she posts about her work as an actress, her photoshoots, and her ambassador work for good causes. In the recent pictures below, she visits a hospital for children with leukaemia.

zhaowei

 

4. Xie Na 谢娜

72.962.003 followers.

Xie Na (1981), also nicknamed ‘Nana’, is a popular singer, actress and designer. She is also the co-host of ‘Happy Camp‘ (快乐大本管), one of China’s most popular variety TV shows. She is the colleague of He Jiong, the number 5 in this list.

Xie Na stars in many popular Chinese films and television series. She has also released several albums, founded a personal clothing line, and published two books.

Before getting married to Chinese singer Zhang Jie, Xie Na was in a 6-year relationship with her colleague Liu Ye, who is on number 7 of this list.

xiena

 

5. He Jiong 何炅

69.567.457 followers.

He Jiong has been the host of China’s popular Happy Camp TV show for over ten years. He is also a singer, actor and an Arabic teacher in Beijing Foreign Studies University.

‘Happy Camp’ (快乐大本馆) is a prime time variety show aired by Hunan TV. It is one of China’s most popular TV shows. With a viewership of tens of millions, it often holds the first place in China’s total viewing rating.

hejiong

 
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6. Guo Degang 郭德纲

62.386.148 followers.

Guo Degang is a Chinese comedian (1973) and known for his ‘xiangsheng‘ (相声), a traditional Chinese comedic performance in the form of a dialogue between two performers.

One of Guo Degang’s Weibo posts caused controversy in 2013, when the comedian posted a poem about karma the day after Beijing TV director Wang Xiaodong passed away.

Guo Degang recently posted on Weibo about stepping into the wine business.

guodegang

 

7. Liu Ye 刘烨

48.189.408 followers.

Liu Ye (1978) is a famous Chinese actor, who is known for taking on difficult roles. He played a young homosexual man in Lan Yu and starred opposite Meryl Streep in the Hollywood film Dark Matter.

The actor is currently a contestant in China’s popular reality show ‘Where Are We Going, Dad?‘, which is now a recurring topic in his Weibo posts.

liuye

 

8. Han Han 韩寒

41.933.102 followers.

Famous Chinese blogger, best-selling writer and race-car driver Han Han (1982) is one of the most influential people on Weibo, and was even named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010.

Han Han does not post daily updates on his Weibo, but he is known for addressing sensitive topics. Not long ago, he shared his thoughts on China not allowing single women to freeze their eggs.

Hanhan

 

9. Jia Nailiang 贾乃亮

41.310.313 followers.

Jia Nailiang (1984, Harbin) is an actor who has starred in TV series since he was a child. He has starred in over 30 TV series in the past 10 years. He is married to award-winning actress Li Xiaolu.

jianailiang

 

10. Fan Bingbing 范冰冰

38.591.597 followers.

Fan Bingbing (1981) is one of China’s most famous fashion icons and actresses, known for, amongst others, Lost in Beijing, Chongqing Blues and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Fan Bingbing is the 4th highest-paid actress in the world.

fanbingbing

By Manya Koetse

©2015 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

Meet Ding Zhen: Khampa Tibetan “Horse Prince” Becomes Social Media Sensation

Ding Zhen’s quiet life out in the grasslands is seemingly over.

Luke Jacobus

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A Khampa Tibetan farmer has become an online sensation in China due to his handsome features. His overnight fame, which comes with legions of adoring fans and TV show invitations, has sparked discussions about the often-overwhelming loss of privacy that can accompany online stardom.

The recent rise to internet fame of a young man named Ding Zhen (丁真) has sparked controversy over the benefits and downsides of e-celebdom.

The 20-year-old farmer, who lives in Litang in the Kham region of Tibet, found accidental online fame after being captured in a blogger’s photography session in Nyima County, according to a Haixia News article.

His handsome features attracted online attention, snowballing out of control after his appearance on a livestream. The young man shyly admitted to having little proficiency in reading or speaking Mandarin, but managed to express his love for raising horses.

The cameraman and other villagers apparently later publicized Ding Zhen’s name, address, and other personal info, soliciting gifts and leading some netizens to mock Ding Zhen’s village neighbors as “blood-sucking vampires.”

Ding, still unaware of his own fame, mentioned with some difficulty on the livestream that his dream was simply to become a “horse prince” (马王子) by winning his local horse races. His dream after that? To raise more horses, of course much to the delight of many Weibo users, some of whom have begun creating fan art in the young man’s honor.

Calls for Ding Zhen to open a Douyin account of his own, or even to appear on reality television shows such as The Coming One (明日之子) and Produce Camp (创造营), have inspired heated debate.

“This kind of person,” wrote one Weibo commenter, “should be riding horses and shooting arrows out on the grasslands; he shouldn’t be imprisoned in Vanity Fair by your fan club’s cultural values.”

Others worried that this young man, “uncorrupted by the world,” might be taken advantage of by others for financial gain.

This concern over the invasiveness of online fans likely stems from previous incidents where ordinary Chinese citizens became extraordinarily famous overnight, such as in the cases of ‘Brother Sharp,’ a homeless man similarly inundated with adoring praise online for his good looks and stylish appearance, and Shanghai’s ‘Vagrant Professor,’ both of whom found their privacy constantly invaded by fans seeking photos or just a chance to meet the new stars. Soon both men could hardly walk outside without being swarmed as their private life had been effectively ended- all because they happened to become popular online.

‘Brother Sharp’ (on the left) and the ‘Vagrant Professor’ (right) both also went viral overnight.

Two phenomena unique to the Chinese internet seem to place these e-celebrities at a higher risk of being tracked down offline by their fans. One of them is the “human flesh search engine” (人肉搜索,) a massive online effort tapping into the knowledge and offline connections of netizens to track down and identify a person, often for shaming or as justice for perceived wrongdoing. The other is the highly-organized “super fan club” phenomenon prevalent in Chinese e-celeb culture, some of which boast structures rivaling the biggest corporations, with PR and financial departments. It’s no wonder then that some netizens fear for Ding Zhen’s personal life.

Many of these concerned netizens seem to particularly admire the simple, pastoral lifestyle of the “grasslands” (草原) which Ding leads, one which has been popularized in novels like Jin Yong’s Legends of the Condor Heroes (射鵰英雄傳), which details the adventures of the young Guo Jing, a Chinese boy who joins the court of Genghis Khan. The novel has been read by millions across China and has become a prominent source of political metaphors on the Chinese web. One commenter exhorted others to “Let him become his own hero, a horse prince! Don’t let the worst impulses of the internet corrupt him.”

With the question “Should Ding Zhen leave the grasslands?” (#丁真该不该离开草原发展#) becoming a trending topic all of its own, it seems opinions about his popularity are fiercely divided. “I hope this handsome guy can make his own choices,” writes one Weibo user: “..and no matter whether he becomes a star or not, I hope he can keep such an innocent heart!”

According to the latest reports, Ding has received a job offer from a Chinese state-owned company since his unexpected rise to online fame. CGTN writes that the ‘horse prince’ has now signed the contract, but they do not mention if this new job will allow him to do what he loves most – raising horses and being out in the grasslands.

 
By Luke Jacobus

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©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Arts & Entertainment

Oh, the Drama! Chinese Opera Performance Turns into Stage Fight as Drunken Man Attacks Actors

This local traditional opera performance unexpectedly turned into a stage fight.

Manya Koetse

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On October 9 in Zhejiang’s Lishui city (Laozhu Town), a theatrical performance unexpectedly turned very dramatic when a drunken man stormed on stage to fight with the performers.

A video showing the Chinese opera performance being disturbed by the drunkard, turning it into a chaotic stage scene, is gaining major attention on Chinese social media.

The incident occurred Friday night around 9 pm, when the Laozhu Theatrical Troupe was performing.

Videos of the incident that are circulating online show how one man comes on stage, attacking one of the actors. The scene escalates into a big fight when others try to intervene. The police were quick to arrive at the scene.

Various news reports suggest the man started to act out after getting into an argument with one of the ‘Huadan’ (花旦) performers of the troupe. In traditional Chinese opera, the Huadan characters are young female roles, often seductive in appearance and quick with their words.

Local police posted on Weibo that the chaos was caused by a 33-year-old local who started to become aggressive after he had too much to drink. The man is charged with disorderly conduct and is currently detained.

The case received even more attention on social media when it turned out that the 33-year old troublemaker is the son of the head of a neighboring village.

Many Chinese netizens feel that the man is spared by Chinese news media outlets, which only report about a “drunken man” who was “causing trouble.” They insist that the real story should be properly reported.

“The son of the village chief took liberties with a huadan actress who rejected him, and then he kicked her, causing her to lose consciousness. He then beat up other actors,” some commenters explain.

“He is not just a ‘drunkard’, he’s the son of the village secretary.”

“What an explosive performance it was!” one Weibo blogger writes.

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.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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