The Top 10 Chinese Actresses That You Should Know

Star Power List,” a popular social media account under Shanghai Zixiao Cultural Media Center, recently updated its list of the top 10 Chinese actresses as of June 2021. The ranking is based on data compiled from Baidu, Weibo, WeChat, and other major social media platforms, and includes influential young actresses between the ages of 20 and 35 with large fan bases. Let’s jump to the list and see who came out on top.

NO.10 LIU Shishi (Cecilia Liu)   

LIU Shishi is a popular Chinese actress who graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy with a major in ballet. She made her acting debut in the television drama series “The Moon and the Wind” (2005) and impressed audiences by performing a segment from “Swan Lake.” In 2011, Liu gained acclaim for her performance as Ruoxi in the time-travel drama “Scarlet Heart,” which followed the adventures of a contemporary woman who traveled back in time to the Qing Dynasty. The success of the series saw her named as one of China’s “New Four Dan Actresses,” (a reference to their strong commercial potential) by the publication Southern Entertainment Weekly in 2013. 

Recommended Reading: Netizens Are Amazed at How Good Liu Shishi Looks in These Unretouched Photos, Today Online

No.9 YANG Ying (Angelababy)

Angelababy, named one of the “New Four Dan Actresses” in 2013, is a hugely influential model, actress, and singer. Her career breakthrough came in 2014 when she joined the cast of the reality series “Keep Running” the Chinese spin-off of the hit “Running Man” franchise from South Korea. The show was a major hit in China and propelled Angelababy to household-name status. Also in 2014, Angelababy starred in “Mojin: The Lost Legend,” based on a popular series of novels about tomb-raiders, “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” The film became the highest-grossing Chinese-language IMAX film in China at the time, taking in $27.1 million at the box office. She played a major supporting role in the Hollywood science-fiction film “Independence Day: Resurgence” as a jet fighter pilot who battles aliens. That same year, she appeared on Forbes’ inaugural “30 under 30” list of Asian celebrities.

Recommended Reading: Film Star Angelababy Tries to Squash Affair Rumors and Weibo Users Are Loving It, Caixin Global

 No.8 TANG Yan (Tiffany Tang)

Tang Yan is an actress and singer who graduated from the Central Academy of Drama. She was chosen by famed director Zhang Yimou as one of the 14 “Olympic Babies” who performed in the “Chinese eight minutes” segment during the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Tang made her film debut in the 2006 romance “Farewell for Love,” which garnered her a nomination for the White Magnolia Award for best actress at the Shanghai International Film Festival. She is considered to be one of the best actresses of her generation in China and has starred in numerous popular films and television series, mostly in the genres of thriller and romance, including “The Lost Tomb” (2015), “Diamond Lover” (2015), “The Way We Were” (2018), and “See You Again” (2019).

Recommended Reading: China’s Celebrity Couples That Were Couples in Dramas/Movies, My Drama List

No.7 JU Jingyi (Kiku Ju)

Ju Jingyi rose to fame as a member of the Chinese idol girl group SNH48 until she moved on in 2017. The following year, she starred in the historical drama “Legend of Yunxi” and performed its theme song. She drew a great deal of attention as the series was a commercial hit and received positive reviews for its light-hearted storylines. In the years since, Ju has played the leading role in a number of romantic dramas, including “Mr. Swimmer”(2018), “Legend of the White Snake” (2019), and “Please Give Me a Pair of Wings” (2019). She was named as one of the most recognizable Chinese actresses in web dramas by Hong Kong media. In 2021, Ju is set to star in the historical romance drama “Rebirth for You” alongside Joseph Zeng.

Recommended Reading: C-Drama Recommendations With “Legend” in the Title, My Dream List 

No.6  ZHANG Zifeng (Wendy Zhang)

Zhang Zifeng, born in 2001, is widely considered one of the best young actors in China today. In 2012, she became the youngest winner of the Best Newcomer at the 31st Hundred Flowers Awards for her performance in “Aftershock,” directed by Feng Xiaogang. Zhang has accumulated a long list of credits in both film and television, including the renowned Japanese director Shunji Iwai’s “Last Letter” in 2018, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at 55th Golden Horse Awards. Zhang is regarded as one of the “New Four Dan Actresses of the Post-95 Generation,” along with Wen Qi, Zhang Xueying and Guan Xiaotong. Her latest film “Sister,” in which she played the lead role, led China’s box office in April and grossed $52.8 million in its opening weekend. 

Recommended Reading: Chinese Movie “Sister” Stirs Discussions on Traditional Family Values in China, What’s on Weibo

No.5 LI Qin (Sweet Li)

Li Qin graduated from the Shanghai Theater Academy in 2008 with a major in traditional Chinese opera. In 2011, she made her film debut in “The Founding of a Party,” playing Yang Kaihui, the second wife of Mao Zedong, and was nominated for the Best Newcomer Award at the 31st Hundred Flowers Awards. In 2017, Li starred in the historical action drama “Princess Agents,” playing a royal from a fallen kingdom. The drama was a major success and Li’s popularity surged as a result. Li has since played the female lead in many historical dramas and xianxia (fantasy martial arts) series, including “Jade Dynasty” in 2019, an adaptation of the novel “Zhu Xian,” and “The Song of Glory” as a daughter in a military family. 

Recommended Reading: 6 Reasons to Watch C-Drama “The Song Of Glory”, Soompi

No.4 YANG Mi (Mini Yang)

Yang Mi made her acting debut in 1990 at the age of four when she appeared in the historical television drama “Tang Ming Huang.” Growing up as a child star, Yang has an extensive background in the industry. In 2011, she achieved widespread fame for her leading role in the hit historical romance drama “Palace: The Lock Heart Jade,” which spurred a trend for TV shows about time travel. Her lead roles for television have spanned genres from xianxia to historical romance to modern office drama, including “Swords of Legends”(2014), “The Interpreter”(2016) and “Eternal Love of Dream” (2020). Yang is one of the most recognizable and commercially successful celebrities in China, and has been dubbed the “Goddess of Goods” for her ability to boost the fortunes of the brands she endorses as a spokesperson or ambassador. As of June 2021, her follower count on Weibo stands at more than 110 million.

Recommended Reading: Chinese Actress Issues Apology After Promoting “Cartoon Waist” Post Labeled Unrealistic and Sexist, The Independent

No.3  ZHAO Liying (Zanilia Zhao)

Born in a small village, Zhao didn’t attend a professional art school, but a passion for acting led her into the industry through the Yahoo Search Star Game in 2006. Ten years later, Zhao achieved her breakthrough with “Legend of Lu Zhen,” which was a hit not only domestically, but also in South Korea and Japan, bringing her increased recognition throughout the region. She was honored as Favorite Newcomer at the China TV Drama Awards and the Most Popular TV Actress at the LeTV Awards. Her popularity has continued to rise thanks to roles in a number of much-watched historical action dramas, such as “Princess Agents”(2017), in which she plays a slave who rises to become a powerful female general. This year, Zhao dubbed the lead female character’s role in Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon” in Mandarin for the Greater China region. 

Recommended Reading: Zhao Liying, Hardest Working Woman in Chinese Show Business, South China Morning Post

No.2  YANG Zi (Andy Yang)

Yang Zi is considered to be one of the “Four Dan of Actresses of the Post-90s Generation” along with Zheng Shuang, Zhou Dongyu and Guan Xiaotong. She became a household name at the age of 13 for her role as a straight-A daughter in the popular sitcom “Home With Kids.” She attended the Beijing Film Academy and resumed her professional acting career after graduation, starring in the fantasy romance drama “Ashes of Love” (2018) and the romantic comedy “Go Go Squid!” (2019) which topped television ratings and had been streamed more than 9.6 billion times. Yang was ranked first in the “2020 Weibo Entertainment White Paper on the Most Commercially Valuable Stars.”

Recommended Reading: Will Actress Yang Zi’s Onscreen Popularity Translate to Commercial Success?  Jing Daily

NO.1 Dilireba (Dilraba Dilmurat)

Dilraba Dilmurat is a Chinese actress of Uyghur descent and a graduate of the Shanghai Theater Academy. She made her acting debut in the lead role in the television series “Anarhan” (2013), which was nominated for Outstanding TV Series at the 30th Flying Goddess Award. She became widely known for playing a sassy pop star in the drama series “Diamond Lover” and won the Audience’s Favorite Newcomer award at the 7th China TV Drama Awards. In 2017, Dilraba starred in the romantic comedy series “Pretty Li Hui Zhen,” playing a hardworking young woman whose years of hardship take a toll on her physical appearance. The series had over 7 billion views online and ranked first in its time slot  during its run. Her latest series, “The Long Ballad,” is an adaptation of a comic and is currently airing on Tencent Video. 

Recommended Reading: Who Are the Most Famous Actresses From Xinjiang, South China Morning Post

Sources: Wikipedia, Baidu, Fandom, Rakuten Viki and MyDreamList

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