Top 10 Chinese celebrities in 2015 by Forbes

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 12, 2015
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Chinese actress Fan Bingbing topped Forbes magazine's annual ranking of Chinese celebrities for the third consecutive year, while nine teen idols also made their first appearance on the list.

Fan ranked No. 1 on the 2015 Forbes China Celebrity 100 List released on Monday with an annual income of 128 million yuan (US$20.62 million) in the past year. She was followed by Taiwan singer Jay Chou, who earned 101.5 million yuan (US$16.35 million) and Hong Kong actor Nicholas Tse, who earned 77.5 million yuan (US$12.48 million).

Two major indicators were used to determine the commercial value of each celebrity: income and exposure. Fan was quite literally the TV queen, starring in the popular TV drama "The Empress of China" and other TV shows. Her film "Ever Since We Love" also generated good box office revenues and high exposure for the actress.

Pop singer Jay Chou received a huge boost to his stardom and exposure when he married Taiwan model and actress Hannah Quinlivan in November 2014. His concerts and commercial endorsements also continued to bring in money throughout last year. Tse, who made a hugely successful gourmet food reality show in the past year, also got big publicity due to his reunion with his girlfriend, pop diva Faye Wong.

Actors Jackie Chan, Huang Xiaoming, Sun Li, Zhao Wei, and Andy Lau ranked fourth through eighth due to a booming Chinese film market, which is already the second largest in the world. Veteran singer Eason Chan ranked No. 10 in the top 10 list.

No. 9 on the list went to teenage idol, actor and singer Li Yifeng, who made 69 million yuan (US$11.11 million) in the past year. Li is the leading teen idol of the "fresh meat" (Chinese Internet slang for teen idol) fan frenzy phenomenon, which was a very hot topic in 2014. Among the 15 celebrities who made their first appearance on the Forbes China Celebrity 100 List, nine are currently beloved teen idols, including Lu Han (No. 37), Wu Yifan (No. 42), Chen Hao (No. 69), William Chan (No. 70), Lin Gengxin (No. 77), Zheng Kai (No. 86), Hua Chenyu (No. 91) and boy band TFBOYS (No. 92). They all primarily gained stardom through social networks and participation in many trending movies and variety or reality TV shows, while some also released albums and songs.

The top ten celebrities on the list made a total of 830 million yuan (US$133.71 million), while all 100 celebrities on the list made a combined 3.67 billion yuan (US$591.23 million) in 2014.

Forbes also reported that the list speaks to the domination of the Chinese entertainment market by TV shows, movies adapted from TV shows and online games adapted from TV dramas. Many celebrities on the list, such as actress Angelababy (No. 12), Li Chen (No. 19) and many of the "fresh meat" teen idols mentioned above, have boosted their exposure by participating in such shows and their spinoffs in other media. The list also indicated that some film directors from China's older generation are failing to meet audiences' expectations as past blockbuster-makers John Woo and Jiang Wen's movies both flopped in the market. Woo didn't make the list, while Jiang came in at No. 36.

The Forbes China Celebrity List, first compiled and published by the financial magazine Forbes in 2004, surveys the popularity and income of leaders in film, sports, media and music in "Greater China." Before-tax earnings and exposure (including on social media, in the press and in search engine data) were based on data from March 1, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2015.

The top 10 people on the 2015 Forbes Chinese Celebrities List are:  

   Eason Chan


Eason Chan [Photo / Xinhua]

Overall ranking: 10

Occupation: Actor and singer

Income: 86 million yuan

Wealth ranking: 4

Media Exposure Ranking (Internet): 64

Media Exposure Ranking (Newspapers): 35

Media Exposure Ranking (Magazine & TV): 26

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