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December 21, 2010

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Home » Metro » Society

Comic shows his charitable side

SHANGHAI comedian Zhou Libo is donating at least 30 million yuan (US$4.5 million) today to establish a "Shanghai-Style Clean Talk" charity fund under the Shanghai Charity Foundation.

The fund, named after Zhou's comedy style, will support the education of poor university students. The founding endowment will include donations from Zhou and his friends, as well as the red envelopes loaded with cash given at his wedding last night, which was attended by more than 600 guests.

The 43-year-old comedian married Hu Jie, a successful stainless steel products businesswoman in her 40s from Zhejiang Province, at the Pudong Shangri-la Hotel.

The two registered for marriage last December but hadn't found the time for a formal ceremony until last night.

Guests included China's Internet pioneer Zhang Chaoyang, talk show hostess Yang Lan and film director Chen Kaige.

The celebrities enjoyed a simple celebration, rather than the usual elaborate affair.

The menu comprised just four dishes - smoked fish with green soy bean, noodles, beef and cake.

"I'm against the idea of having luxurious weddings," Zhou said, "and instead, I'm glad to be the first celebrity in China to share such an important moment in life as marriage with the entire society, especially in the form of charity."

Accountants from the charity foundation were on hand to count last night's contributions and to give out certificate and receipt to each of the guests.

The event was taking place not long after Zhou angered many fans with controversial remarks on weibo, China's equivalent of twitter, calling the Internet "a public toilet" and denouncing critics who had responded to his entry about the recent high-rise inferno in Shanghai.

Zhou, who won national fame in late 2008 for his stand-up comedy with no off-color jokes, was once considered by many to represent the humor and culture of Shanghai, but many fans were shocked at his humorless responses, complete with swear words, to his critics.


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