Among entertainment and sports celebrities from the Chinese mainland who earned the most last year? The answer is Hollywood martial arts star Jet Li, who is closely followed by Yao Ming, basketball player, now in NBA.
The list of Chinese celebrities unveiled yesterday by Forbes Chinese version showed that movie star Jet Li reaped a direct commercial income up to 140 million RMB yuan during the past year, the highest one among figures in the entertainment and sports circles. The second is basketball player Yao Ming, who's commercial income reached 120 million yuan last year. The third is singer Li Ming, with an income of 66 million yuan.
Although Jet Li tops the list by his income, he is not the hottest star in the mainland. A Forbes survey showed that Yao Ming, with the highest traditional media coverage, the second annual income and Internet search, finally tops the list of 100 Chinese celebrities. The top ten also includes movie starts, directors and singers as Zhao Wei, Wang Fei, Gong Li, Zhang Yimou, Zhou Xun, Li Ming, Sun Nan and Jet Li.
Yao is the one of the biggest commercial value on the list, said Fan Luxian, deputy editor-in-chief of Forbes Global and president of Forbes Shanghai division.
(People's Daily February 12, 2004)