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Celebrities: Forbes list 'sheer nonsense'
Updated: 2004-02-12 10:39

A day after Forbes magazine released a list of the top celebrities in China, entertainers across the nation began casting doubt on financial figures used in the ranking and denouncing the whole exercise as nonsense.

Actress Deng Jie openly denounces Forbes ranking"sheer nonsense."
Pop singer Han Hong said she doesn't know how the magazine calculated her income at 20 million yuan (US$2.4million)last year.

"That's too exaggerated," said Han, who was ranked 12th on the list. "Even people with only a little knowledge of the entertainment world in China know it is impossible for an actor to earn that much in a year."

The list of the 100 most influential public figures born on mainland China, which was published on Tuesday, ranks celebrities using a formula based on their annual salaries and media exposure.

Shanghai-based dancer Huang Doudou, who was ranked 67th with an income reported at 5.5 million yuan last year, questioned the list's accuracy.

"My real income is less than one-tenth of what they said. But on the other hand, I believe my real value is much higher than they reported."

The wife of one listed actor called the rankings "sheer nonsense."

"I really do not know where they got the figures as they didn't contact us," said DengJie, whose husband Zhang Guoli was ranked 33rd with an estimated annual income of 7.7 million yuan.

Zhang gained his fame playing the emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911)in a popular TV series.

Zhang Ziyi [chinadaily/file]
"I cannot tell you whether the actual figureis lower or higher,because that's private."said Deng "But for sure,the (Forbes) figure is not accurate."

The top-ranked member of the list is also the tallest Chinese celebrity, a basketball star Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets. The magazine estimated Yao's annual income at 120 million yuan.

He was followed by movie star ZhangZiyi, who starred in the Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger,Hidden Dragon. Zhang was said to have earned 26 million yuan last year.

Actress Zhao Wei, who starred in Princess Huanzhu, placed third.

Hong Kong-based singer-actress Faye Wong was ranked fourth, followed by veteran film star Gong Li and Zhang Yimou,the award winning director of Raise Highthe Red Lanterns.

Despite having the highest estimated incomeon the list at 140 million yuan, kungfu and movie star Jet Li was only ranked 10th by the magazine.

Forbes began publishing an annual list ofthe richest business people on Chinese mainland in 1999. This is the first time it has attempted to rank the country's celebrities.

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