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We ... Wei ... What? # 7 China's top 10 influencers on Weibo

Who are they, what are they doing, and why are they so popular on China's social media? Here's a top 10 list of the people with the most followers on Weibo.

While US celebrities like Justin Bieber, Barack Obama and Katy Perry lead the way with the most followers on Twitter, the Chinese stars with comparable fan numbers are hardly known outside of China on the largest Chinese social media platform Weibo. Even though new popular apps and providers have enriched China's social media landscape over the past few years, Weibo, founded in 2009, is still the most important social media platform for the entertainment industry. Below is a list of the celebrities who had the most followers on Weibo in early 2021. But before that, a few hints about this list:

First, it does not contain pure “Internet celebrities” (网 红 wanghong), i.e. people who have become influencers solely through the Internet. The draft horses on Weibo are still “traditional” stars from TV series, cinema and music.

Second: Even if there have been slight fluctuations over the years, many of the top Weibo stars have been at the top for years. Some of them have been with the platform since the year it was founded. Celebrities like Yao Chen or Chen Kun already had more than 50 million followers on Weibo in 2013. This suggests that while China's social media landscape is becoming increasingly diversified, it is not easy for new social media stars to overtake the established Weibo champions.

Third, the stars of social media in China are characterized by the fact that they are incredibly versatile, real superstars. They act, sing, moderate shows and also have their own companies, for example restaurants, or appear in other ways as “prominent entrepreneurs”. Virtually everyone on the list donates to charity and acts as brand ambassadors, which means they have lucrative contracts with international fashion labels, cosmetic companies or manufacturers of luxury spirits. It is their multidimensionality that makes them so attractive to their fans: They have talent, are beautiful, rich, fashionable, virtuous and commercially successful.

This post first introduces the top 10 Weibo accounts with the highest number of followers. Here are a few newer accounts that have the highest influencer rate according to the Weibo charts, which means they have a high level of interaction in their network and high follower growth rates.

1. Xie Na 谢 娜 - Queen of Weibo

Images via j.17qq, Cunman, Feminine.comFollowers on Weibo: 124 million @ 谢 娜
Main occupation: TV presenter
Birthday: May 6, 1981
Place of birth: Deyang, Sichuan


Xie Na, nicknamed Nana, is an extremely popular Chinese presenter, singer, actress and designer who is known as the "Queen of Weibo".

She is best known as the co-host of the most popular entertainment show in China, the one that has been broadcast since 1997 Happy Camp (快乐 大本 管) of the Hunan Satellite TV broadcaster. Your co-host, He Joing, is in second place on this list.

Nana owes her immense popularity to her versatility: She is not only the presenter of numerous Chinese entertainment and game shows, but has also starred in many successful Chinese TV series and films, published several albums, founded her own fashion label and two books released. In March 2017, she made headlines with the news that she was going to study design in Italy.

The presenter appears in various commercials and is a brand ambassador for the US skin care brand Olay.

The fact that she was the first to have 100 million followers on Weibo and that she has the most fans on Weibo even earned Xia Na an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.

In January 2021, 39-year-old Xie Na publicly announced her second pregnancy. The child's father is her husband Zhang Jie, with whom she has been in a relationship for ten years. If you are not a Weibo subscriber, you can also follow Xie Na on Instagram, where she has 485,000 fans.

2. He Jiong 何 炅 - key figure in the Chinese entertainment industry

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 120.6 million @ 何 炅
Main occupation: TV presenter
Birthday: April 28, 1974
Place of birth: Changsha, Hunan


He Jiong has hosted the popular TV show for over 20 years Happy Camp. He also sings, acts and writes. Because he used to teach Arabic at the University of Foreign Languages ​​in Beijing, he is often referred to as "Professor He" with a wink. In the Chinese media, he is also considered a key figure in the Chinese entertainment industry.

Like his colleague Xie Na, He Jiong was included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "male star with the most Weibo fans".

After it became public that He Jiong and other Hunan Satellite TV presenters had accepted lavish gifts from fans, the star was recently accused of "taking advantage of his notoriety." The broadcaster later announced that all employees would be prohibited from accepting gifts from fans in the future. He Jiong then posted on Weibo that he too would refuse gifts.

3. Yang Mi 杨 幂 - Star with the highest market value

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 109.8 million @ 杨 幂
Main occupation: actress
Birthday: September 12, 1986
Place of birth: Beijing


The attractive actress and singer has become famous through various roles in popular Chinese TV series. Yang Mi was born in Beijing and was in front of the camera when she was four years old. Some of the TV productions that made them famous include Eternal love (三生 三世 十里 桃花) and The interpreters (亲爱 的 翻译 官). The latter was produced by Yang Mi's own media company, Jay Walk Studio.

Yang is now one of the greatest actresses in China and also the one with the highest market value. In 2020, it was on Forbes' top 10 list in China. Before that, she was one of the “four new Dan actresses” in China, with “Dan” alluding to the role of “young girl” in the Peking Opera, in which the world-famous Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang, among others, specialized.

In addition to her career as an actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Yang Mi is also under contract with several well-known fashion and cosmetics brands such as Estee Lauder, Michael Kors and Victoria’s Secret. In 2021, Yang Mi will be in the live action film A Writer's Odyssey starring by director Lu Yang.

Yang has a daughter from her previous marriage to Hong Kong actor and singer Lau How-wai, with whom she has starred in various productions. In 2018, the two announced their divorce. And here's an amusing detail: To dispel rumors that his daughter had undergone cosmetic surgery, Yang Mi's father posted childhood photos of his daughter on his own Weibo account (@ 休闲 小 林哥). As far as the number of fans on Weibo is concerned, he can't hold a candle to his daughter, but with 364,000 fans he's not in a bad shape either. Yang Mi is also on Instagram.

4. Angelababy 杨颖 - Just know everyone

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 103.3 million @angelababy
Main occupation: actress
Birthday: February 28, 1989
Place of birth: Shanghai


“Angelababy”, the alias of Yang Ying or Angela Yeung Wing, has achieved an extremely high level of awareness in recent years. The award-winning actress, who also sings and models, got her first engagement in 2007 and has since appeared in many different roles in numerous TV productions.

In 2015, Yang Ying married the actor Huang Xiaoming (黄晓明) and they have a son. Their opulent wedding reception cost $ 32 million and was the Chinese wedding the most talked about in the past decade. Their marriage and the state of their relationship are an extremely popular gossip topic on social media. Again and again it is said that the two have already separated.

Angelbaby represents Dior and not long ago opened the hotpot restaurant Douliu (斗 鎏 火锅) in Chengdu. She is also committed to charity and donated to hospitals in Hubei at the beginning of the COVID19 crisis. Angelababy is also active on Instagram, where she has 8.1 million followers.

5. Chen Kun 陈坤 - With love from Chongqing

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 93.3 million @ 陈坤
Main occupation: actor and singer
Birthday: February 4th, 1976
Place of birth: Chongqing


Well-known in China and award-winning actor, singer and author Chen Kun, who sometimes appears under the name Aloys Chen, has appeared in numerous TV series and films, including Love Story In Shanghai (像 雾 像 雨 又像 风), The Story of a Noble Family (金粉世家) and also in comedy Chongqing hotpot (火锅 英雄) from 2016, which is set in his hometown. He became international in 2008 Painted skin known.

Chen is a graduate of Beijing Film School and went to a class with Vicky Zhao, who is also on the Weibo top 10 list, and Huang Xiaoming, Angelababy's husband.

Chen Kun is known not only for his acting, but most of all for his looks, which has earned him a large community of gay fans. Chen Kun seems to like himself a lot too, at least he posts quite a few selfies on Weibo.

Chen represents the brands Braun, the Italian fashion house Prada and recently gave his face to an advertising campaign for the French cognac manufacturer Martell Noblige. He is also committed to charity and is a global ambassador for WildAid. He also launched the Power to Go initiative, which aims to help people achieve greater physical and mental health by encouraging them to lead an active lifestyle.

6. Zhao Liying 赵丽颖 - crowd favorite

via Weibo
Followers on Weibo: 88.4 million @ 赵丽颖
Main occupation: actress
Birthday: October 16, 1987
Place of birth: Langfang, Hebei


The multi-award-winning actress and singer Zhao Liying, also Zanlilla Zhao, is the crowd favorite in China. Her career began over 15 years ago, but she only became really famous for her role in the TV series The Dream of Red Mansions (红楼梦). 2013 followed the lead role in the successful series Legend of Lu Zhen (陆 贞 传奇), in 2017 she starred in Duckweed (乘风破浪) Directed by Han Han. Zhao is a tourism ambassador for her home province of Hebei and a fashion ambassador for Dior. Zhao was also on the Forbes list of the "10 Most Influential Actresses in China".

7. Jackson Yee 易 烊 千 玺 - teenage idol with Power Star status

via Weibo
Followers on Weibo: 86.9 million @ TFBOYS- 易 烊 千 玺
Main occupation: singer and dancer of the boy band TFBoys
Birthday: November 28, 2000
Place of birth: Huaihua, Hunan


Although he is a newcomer compared to the other celebrities on this top 10 list, Jackson Yee (Yi Yangqianxi) is one of the most popular Chinese media stars of the moment. His career began as a child star. Today he is a member of the immensely popular boy band TFBoys and recently found himself on Forbes' list of “100 Stars of the Digital World in Asia”. In 2020 he was even number one on Forbes' “China Celebrities” list. According to social media analyzes of the platformXiguaji 20-year-old Jackson Yee is also the most influential Weibo blogger right now.

Yee has also appeared as an actor: for his role in the film Better Days (2019) he received the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Young Actor. He had another appearance in the box office hit A Little Red Flower (2020).

Jackson is a global brand ambassador for Armani, but also has contracts with Bulgari, Tiffany and Adidas.

8. Vicki Zhao 赵薇 - billionaire actress

via Weibo
Followers on Weibo: 85.8 million @ 赵薇
Main occupation: actress
Birthday: March 12, 1976
Place of birth: Wuhu, Anhui


Vicki Zhao is a Chinese actress, entrepreneur, and director. She is considered the "richest actress in China" and even the "richest active actress in the world", to which her work as a brand ambassador for Samsung, Burberry and Fendi, among others, has certainly contributed.

Above all, however, she is one of the most famous actresses in China: she starred in My Fair Princess (還珠格格), a successful historical TV series that first aired in 1998. After that, she had many other roles in TV series and major films such as Painted skin (2008) and Lost in Hong Kong (2015). Together with her colleagues Zhang Ziyi, Zhou Xun and Xu Jinglei, Vicky Zhao was one of the four great Dan actresses in China (四大 花旦) in the early 2000s.

Zhao is also known for her commitment to charity, including serving as a UN special envoy. She is married to the entrepreneur Huang You Long (黄有龙), with whom she has a daughter.

9. Yao Chen 姚 晨 - China's answer to Angelina Jolie

via Weibo
Followers on Weibo: 84.6 million @ 姚 晨
Main occupation: actress
Birthday: October 5, 1979
Place of birth: Quanzhou, Fujian


Yao Chen, born in Fujian Province, is a Chinese actress and Weibo celebrity named one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in the World" by Forbes magazine in the past. Because she speaks out publicly on social issues and was China's first UNHCR special envoy, she is also known as China's answer to Angelina Jolie.

Yao Chen is not exactly China's most eminent actress, but she was one of the first to share her personal life on Weibo and start a dialogue with her fans from 2009. On Weibo, she talks about her everyday life, family, breaking news, work and fashion. Every day she posts private photos. Her Weibo success is the result of her popularity as an actress and philanthropist along with her regular Weibo posts and closeness to her fans. Yao also represents some fashion brands such as Miu Miu, Fendi and Lululemon.

10. Deng Chao 邓 超

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 81.6 million @ 邓 超
Main occupation: actor
Birthday: February 8, 1979
Place of birth: Nanchang, Jiangxi


Deng Chao is a Chinese actor, director and singer who has won many awards. He was best known for his role in the popular game show produced by Zhejiang Satellite TV Keep running (奔跑 吧). Many of the films Deng has starred in have been box office hits, including The Breakup Guru (2014), The Mermaid (2016), Duckweed (2017) and The sacrifice (2020). He is one of the most popular actors in China.

Deng is married to the Chinese actress Sun Li (孙俪) or Susan Sun. The couple have two children. Like other celebrities, the two donated to China's anti-COVID19 measures in 2020, but were criticized on social media because their donation was perceived as “stingy” compared to others.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Wang Yibo 王一博

via WeiboFollowers on Weibo: 37.3 million @ UNIQ- 王一博

Wang Yibo (* 1997) is a Chinese actor, singer, dancer and rapper. He made his debut in 2014 as a member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band UNIQ. In 2019 he had a role in the TV series The Untamed (陈 情 令). Because of his large fan base, Wang was number one in the Weibo ranking of “Most Influential Personality” in December 2020. Like his colleagues in the industry, Wang can often be seen in commercials and represents brands such as Audi and Swarovski. His Instagram account has 1.9 million followers.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Wang Junkai 王俊凯

via Weibo79.4 million followers @ TFBOYS- 王俊凯

Wang Junkai (* 1999), also Karry Wang, is a singer and actor. In 2013 he began his career as the front man of the extremely popular three-piece boy group TFBoys, which, in addition to the aforementioned Jackson Yee, also belongs to Wang Yuan (王 源) or Roy Wang.TFBoys recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records in the “Most Popular Paid Content” category: 786,000 fans bought tickets for their live cloud concert on NetEase. Karry Wang is also a hugely successful solo singer, brand ambassador for Swatch and Dior, and one of the richest Chinese born after 1990.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Xiao Zhan 肖战

via Weibo28.2 million followers @X 玖 少年 团 肖战 DAYTOY

Xiao Zhan (* 1991), also Sean Xiao, is one of the hottest Weibo bloggers who has been consistently number 1 in daily rankings on influence and interaction lately. Xiao Zhan is an actor and singer, together with Wang Yibo he plays in the fantastic film series The Untamed (陈 情 令). Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo have many fans in the fan fiction community who ascribe a love affair to the two actors - which in turn does not go down well with some of Xiao Zhan's other fans.
 

15th Mar 2020

Manya Koetse

Sinologist Manya Koetse observes social trends in China and is editor-in-chief of What's On Weibo, the popular blog about current topics and digital developments in China. You can find her on Twitter at @manyapan.

Translation: Maja Linnemann from English

Copyright: This text was dated yì magazine published under the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 DE license.