Dubbed as China’s Oprah Winfrey, Yang Lan is China’s most popular television personality. Born in Beijing but educated in the US, Yang first rose to national fame when she won an audition to host a prime time show in Beijing at the young age of 21. She later joined husband Wu Zheng in founding Sun Media Investment Holdings, the second-largest privately-owned media company in China. Her media empire now includes TV production, newspapers, magazines, digital media and a high-end jewellery line. The television hostess is also a prominent philanthropist, with a foundation that raises awareness about poverty and promotes education.
Yang’s Zheng Da Variety Show is China’s highest-rated programme, regularly drawing audiences of over 200 million viewers (the Oprah Winfrey show, by comparison, is watched by only 7 million Americans, according to the UK’s Daily Telegraph). Her blog and website attract similar numbers of readers per month. Yang was also an image ambassador during Beijing’s winning bid to host the 2008 Olympics. She also currently hosts the television show One on One, in which she interviews a variety of prominent guests.
Why is she in the news?
It was announced last week that Yang will be represented by US management firm CAA, whose client list includes dozens of Hollywood A-listers. Yang hopes to use her mainland media clout to push new projects in the US.
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