Red Star

Zhu Ting

Popularity spike

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Commanding a Rmb100 million ($15 million) annual income, the 23 year-old, 195cm tall Zhu Ting is one of China’s star athletes, with some believing her commercial value could soon put her on par with ex-basketballer Yao Ming for sponsorship deals.

National pride

The captain of China’s women’s volleyball team, Zhu led the team to victory at this year’s FIVB World Grand Champions Cup, earning the Most Valuable Player title for herself in the process. The star spiker lodged 26 points against the Japanese team during the finals – the highest by anyone in the match.

Nicknamed “Queen Zhu”, the young player has achieved many other accolades. She was the first player to score over 100 points during the World Cup, in 2015, then in 2016 she earned the MVP title for her role in securing China’s third Olympic gold in the sport.

The national Olympic coach, and former MVP Lang Ping piled on the praise declaring, “Whether its technical skill, English language or self management, Zhu does them all extremely well.”

Wide net

Zhu’s English in fact is not as hot as her spiking, but she has been practising it in Turkey. Following her success at the Rio Olympics, Zhu transferred to the Turkish Vakifbank team, becoming the youngest Chinese volleyball player to play outside of the country.

“There is no question that no player has the same attack ability as Zhu,” Giovanni Guidetti, Vakifbank’s coach said. “From every position she can attack quick and strong… and day by day she has become a great saver.”

Obviously “Queen Zhu” has the potential to become a great earner as well. According to a report from Huxiu, in 2016 Zhu’s personal wealth already ranked her among the 10 wealthiest Chinese sports stars, and the second wealthiest female entrant (behind golfer Feng Shanshan).


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