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<  Yao's impact on the Asian community  ~  YAO MING TOPS THE 2004 FORBE CHINESE CELEBRITY LIST

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:48 am
User avatarPosts: 59329Location: Hong Kong/ChinaJoined: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:13 am
For the 2nd year in a row .....Yao Ming tops the 2004 Forbes China Celebrities List again. :P

China's Top Celebrities
Yao's The Man (Again)
Russell Flannery, 03.10.05, 9:00 PM ET

Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, fresh from breaking a record for receiving the most fan votes in NBA all-star balloting, topped all his countrymen to rank No. 1 for a second consecutive year on our Forbes China Celebrity List released today by Forbes China, the Chinese-language edition of Forbes magazine.

The list surveyed the income and popularity of leaders in film, sports, media, music and publishing. Candidates were born and raised in mainland China; celebrities from Hong Kong and Taiwan weren't included. The China Celebrity List is modeled on our annual Celebrity 100 List.

Yao topped this year's ranking based on his income--he did ads for Apple Computer (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) in the past and currently has a multimillion-dollar endorsement contract with Reebok International (nyse: RBK - news - people )--and huge exposure in China's media and Internet. Actress Zhang Ziyi, who was an Oscar award presenter this year, ranked No. 2, the same as last year. Zhang appeared alongside martial arts star Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 2 for Time Warner's (nyse: TWX - news - people ) New Line Cinema and will be seen later this year in Memoirs of a Geisha, to be distributed by Sony's (nyse: SNE - news - people ) Columbia Pictures unit.

China's strong showing in last year's summer Olympics in Greece propelled the fame and endorsement income of many athletes. Among them, Liu Xiang, who won a gold medal in the 110-meter hurdle, ranked No. 3 on this year's Celebrity List.

"Seven of the top ten from this year were repeats from last year, which indicates that there is a clear and stable pecking order at top end of China's entertainment business right now," says Bobby Hao, the list compiler. "Only Yao and Zhang have made a mark overseas, though, and it will be interesting in the next year to see how the others try to follow in their path."

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