Having his own wine brand, a charity and a basketball club appears to be not enough for former NBA star Yao Ming.
The busy giant of Chinese basketball has decided to branch out into the world of publishing, and signed an agreement on Wednesday in Shanghai with two leading publishing companies (from China and the United Kingdom) on a book about, what else? Himself.
The book, Yao Ming Opus, will be jointly published by Time Publishing and Media Co Ltd, a listed publishing company based in Anhui province, and Opus Media Group UK, which is renowned for its coffee-table books that feature sports stars and celebrities.
The book will include a large range of photos taken during Yao's teenage years, his professional career and life after basketball, with text in both English and Chinese.
The photos were provided by Yao or purchased from news agencies, and also include new pictures taken by the photographers of the two companies. The editorial aspect will be completed by a team of five writers. The book, which is expected to weigh 16 kg, is scheduled to be published next year.
Opus' publications include subjects such as the Manchester United Football Club, Major League Baseball and the Ferrari Formula One team. The book about Yao will be its first publication in China.
Opus' CEO, Karl Fowler, said the two companies decided to feature Yao in the book after only two minutes of discussion.
"We could not think of a more sincere, unique and exciting story to tell, using great photographs and great writing to reveal his story not just in China, but internationally," he said.
Yao said that when he first saw an Opus publication he thought it was like a comic book. But as he turned the pages he realized the book was something people should take seriously.
"Although we live in a digital age, a photo can capture and keep every precious moment forever and will not fade with time," he said.
Yao signed a signature page that will be placed in copy No 1 of Yao Ming Opus. Opus will auction that copy next year and donate the proceeds to the Yao Foundation.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.