From the February 2004 Issue of Forbes China (original article -- Chinese/English)....
Zhang Ziyi ranked #2 on the first ever Forbes China Celebrity List, released today by Forbes China, the Chinese-language edition of Forbes magazine. Chinese sports hero and Houston Rockets star Yao Ming, who regularly towers over NBA competitors on the basketball court, ranked #1.
The list surveyed the income and popularity of leaders in film, sports, media, music and publishing. Listees were born and raised in mainland China; celebrities from Hong Kong and Taiwan weren't included. The China list is modeled on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list.
Yao led the way as the #1 Chinese celebrity with the second-highest 2003 income, following Hollywood star Jet Li who ranked #1 in income. Though income was the biggest single factor in compiling the list of 100 mainland Chinese celebrities -- which tracks the actual transfer of fame into fortune over the past year -- media coverage and Web hits within China also figured prominently, leading Zhang Ziyi to rank #2 overall.
Forbes China Top 10 of 100 Mainland Chinese Celebrities:
Name / Profession / Pre-tax income in 2003 (US$ Million)
1. Yao Ming / basketball player / 14.49
2. Zhang Ziyi / film actress / 3.14
3. Zhao Wei / TV/film actress/singer / 2.29
4. Faye Wong / singer/actress / 3.38
5. Gong Li / film actress / 3.38
6. Zhang Yimou / film director / 2.17
7. Zhou Xun / actress/singer / 1.45
8. Leon Lai / singer/actor / 7.97
9. Sun Nan / singer / 2.90
10. Jet Li / actor / 16.91