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Yao Ming tops Chinese celebrity list again

BASKETBALL player Yao Ming remains China's top Chinese celebrity, leading the Forbes China Celebrity List for the sixth year.

The 2009 list was released yesterday in the March issue of Forbes China, the Chinese-language edition of Forbes magazine. It surveyed the incomes and popularity of leading figures in film, sports, media, music and publishing. All those considered were born and raised on Chinese mainland. The China list is modeled on Forbes' annual Celebrity 100 list.

Yao topped both the income and popularity sectors with an income of 357.77 million yuan (US$52.34 million) last year.

Though income is the biggest single factor in compiling the list - which tracks the transfer of fame into fortune over the past year - media coverage and web hits within China also figure prominently. Actress Zhang Ziyi now ranks No.2 overall - she was 5th last year.

Basketball player Yi Jianlian rose up one place to third.

Most of the top 10 celebrities are the same as last year's except for Guo Jingjing. The Olympic diving gold medals saw her rise to No.4 from last year's No. 28.

Comedian Zhao Bengshan slipped out of the top 10 to 15th place.

Olympic goldlist hurdler Liu Xiang slipped from last year's second place to 5th. His stunning withdrawal from last year's Beijing Olympics is thought to have dampened his commercial value.

After Liu came movie actor Li, actress Zhao Wei, Fan Bingbing, Zhou Xun and Li Bingbing.


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