Korean celebrities in China are favored
In 2020, due to dynamic culture pattern, cultural similarity and changing Chinese preferences, Asian, especially South Korean the most famous foreign male celebrities in China. However, western male stars are also favored by Chinese. According to a topic on Baidu Tieba (Simliar to Reddit in China), Chinese people are more familiar with Asian beauty since people from East Asia have similar beauty standards.
[Photo source: Zhihu, ‘Standard of Asian beauty and western beauty’]
This has been proven by our data on Baidu searches for foreign male celebrities in China. According to Baidu Index, on average, Korean celebrities and Japanese celebrities are more frequently searched than western celebrities in China. From December 9th 2019 to January 7th 2020, the averaged index number of Korean celebrities was 1000; Japanese celebrities was 600; western celebrities was 200. Meaning that for every 10 searches for Korean celebrities in China, there are 6 for Japanese and 2 for western.
[Photo source: Baidu Index, ‘Index number of western and Asian celebrities on Baidu’]
The most popular western male celebrities in China are athletes
According to Baidu Index, on January 7th, 2020, 5 out of the top 10 popular western celebrities in China were sport stars. Mostly compromised of NBA and football (soccer) athletes, this can be explained by the fact that Chinese people like to watch soccer and basketball.
[Photo source: Baidu Index, ‘6 of the 10 most popular western celebrities in China are athletes.’ Sport stars are in red]
The top 10 foreign celebrities in China are Westlife, Adele, Angelina Jolie, Lionel Messi, Tom Cruise, Derrick Rose, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, James Harden and Michael Jordan.
Top western male entertainers in China
Meanwhile in the movie & music sector, according to Chart Weibo, influenced by English music, most of the popular western male celebrities in China were singers from English speaking countries. China’s favorite western celebrities in music and movies are: Justin Bieber, Troye Sivan, Robert Downey Jr, WestLife, Ian Somerhalder, Tom Felton, Sam Smith, Jason Chen, Christopher, Tom Cruise, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
Nevertheless, movie stars are also well-known in China. According to Star Rank of Baidu Baike, influenced by Hollywood movies, especially Marvel Comics, the majority of the popular western male celebrities in China were movie stars in this ranking.
According to another ranking, the top 10 western male celebrities in China are as follows: Michael Jackson, Freedie Highmore, Tom Cruise, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Brad Pitt, Sebastian Stan, Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, and Robert Downey Jr.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘ranking of popular western male celebrities in China.’ Movie stars are in red]
Behind the ranking of popular Asian male celebrities in China: singers are the most favored
Many of the top foreign male celebrities in China are Asian. According to the ranking conducted by Power Star, in November 2019, 9 out of 10 popular Asian male celebrities in China were Korean while 6 out of 10 were singers. Influenced by the Korean pop culture, Korean stars come to be the most popular with Chinese people regarding the foreign entertainment industry. The top Asian foreign celebrities in China include: Dimash Kudaibergen, Park Chan Yeol, Baek Hyun, Oh Se Hyun, G-Dragon, Hwang Chi Yeul, Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Suk, Lee Min Ho, Lee Joon Gi.
[Photo source: Power Star, ‘Ranking of popular Asian male celebrities in China.’ celebrities in China.’ Singers are in red]
The 10 top foreign male celebrities in China (2020)
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Tom Cruise’]
Born in 1962, USA, Tom Cruise, known as 阿汤哥 (A Tang Ge, Brother Soup, retrieved from the pronunciation of Tom) in China, has become one of the highest paid and most sought after actors in movie history. According to Mtime (IMDb in China), Tom Cruise is a dedicated actor that filled with passion and diligence. Moreover, he has a good-looking appearance and masculine charisma. He is capable of acting differently in different characters.
Robert Downey Jr.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Robert Downey Jr.’]
Born in 1965, USA, Robert Downey Jr., known as 妮妮 (Ni Ni, retrieved from the pronunciation of Downey), has evolved into one the most famous actors in Hollywood. He is still able to be popular with people even though he has worked in this industry for more than 40 years. In China, he is famous for the role of Iron Man from Marvel Series. By the end of April 2019, Robert Downey Jr.’s movies had earned more than 10 billion RMB of box office in China.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Justin Bieber’]
Born in 1994, Canada, Justin Bieber, known as 丁日 (the characters look like JB) in China. He has won a Grammy Award and an American Music Award. He has also been nominated by Forbes magazine for being the “Top Ten Most Powerful Celebrities in the World”. Even though he is popular, his character is debatable all over the world, including China. In 2017, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture rejected his request to hold a concert in China due to previous misbehavior. As time goes by, he recovers his reputation. In July 2019, Justin Bieber set up his official account on Weibo and suddenly earned 0.5 million of followers. This has proven his popularity in China.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Troye Sivan’]
Born in 1995, South Africa, Troye Sivan, known as 戳爷 (Brother Chuo, retrieved from the pronunciation of Troye), is a famous as a YouTuber and singer. Troye has released 2 EPs, and both have debuted at number 5 on the Billboard Top 200. According to Zhihu (Quora in China) and Douban (Reddit in China), Troye Sivan’s appearance fits with China’s beauty standards, which drives his popularity. Moreover, he has come out of the closet, which is inspiring for the LGBTQ community in China.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Westlife’]
Found in 1998, Westlife is an Irish boy band. Westlife has remained Ireland’s most famous and largest selling pop export. It is also one of the world’s biggest pop bands. In the early 2000s, they released their iconic songs, My Love, Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You and Seasons in the Sun. Then these songs went viral among school students in China. According to Zhihu, some people mentioned that Westlife’s songs have accompanied with them during their teenage years.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Lionel Messi’]
Born in 1987, Argentina, Lionel Messi is a professional soccer player. In 2005, he joined FC Barcelona, a famous soccer club which bases in Spain. Since then, he has drawn lots of soccer fans’ attention, including fans in China. According to Zhihu, some people compared Lionel Messi with Cristiano Ronaldo, another famous soccer player. Some of them agreed that Messi is more skillful, which has led to the title of “King of soccer”.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Kobe Bryant’]
Born in 1978, USA, Kobe Bryant is a retired professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He is one of the most popular basketball players in China. After his retirement, he is still thought to be the most popular NBA basketball players among basketball fans in China.
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Dimash Kudaibergen’]
Born in 1994, Kazakhstan, Dimash Kudaibergen, is known as 进口小哥哥 (Brother of import) in Chinese. He is a talented and unique musical artist that is able to sing in a variety of genres. In 2017, he attended a TV show in China, I am a Singer and ranked second in final. Since then, Chinese audiences have become familiar with him and amazed by his vocal skill. According to Zhihu, apart from his outstanding singing performance, his fans in China also favor his personality and appearance.
Lee Jong Suk
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘Lee Jong Suk’]
Born in 1989, South Korea, Lee Jong Suk is an actor famous for the Korean TV dramas, Neoui Moksoriga Deulryeo (2013), Pinocchio (2014) and W – Du gaeui segye (2016). According to Zhihu, compared to other famous Korean actors such as Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Suk is more famous for acting.
G-DRAGON (Kwon Ji Yong)
[Photo source: Baidu Baike, ‘G-DRAGON (Kwon Ji Yong)’]
Born in 1988, Korea, G-DRAGON (Kwon Ji Yong) is known for his solo work and as one of the members of the Korean boy band, Big Bang. He has been popular in China for many years. During his military service period, his name frequently appeared on Weibo’s trending topic list despite not having any activity related to his career. According to Zhihu, people perceive that G-DRAGON can maintain his popularity in China because of his talent and fashion sense.
Read about the top Chinese celebrities for brand endorsements in China 2020
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