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Dilraba Dilmurat

China’s most popular Uighur actress


Who is she?

Dilraba Dilmurat, also known as Dilireba, is an actress, singer and model of Uighur ethnicity.

Now 28, she got her start when she was 21 in the lead role in television drama Anarhan. She’d earlier caught the attention of A-list actress Yang Mi, who signed the drama student to her talent management agency Jay Walk Studio.

Why is she famous?

The actress has featured in a number of TV dramas, including the lead role in 2018’s popular series The Flame’s Daughter, which has been viewed 7 billion times on online streaming platform Youku.

In 2020, she also starred in the hugely popular fantasy costume drama Eternal Love, which reportedly surpassed 7 billion views on Tencent Video.

She has also attracted a massive following on social media. In June 2020 she was ranked as the second most popular celebrity on short video platform Douyin, with 55.6 million followers. On Sina Weibo, she boasts 73.6 million fans and she reported endorsement deals with 35 brands in 2019, the most in Chinese show business.

Dilraba is reported to have earned at least Rmb200 million ($30.76 million) from her commercial work to date, although there was one fewer sponsor on her roster this month after she announced that she was severing ties with Adidas, because the brand had objected to the use of Xinjiang cotton.

Why is she in the news at the moment?

Dilraba is back in a major drama called The Long Ballad, available on Shandong Satellite TV and Tencent Video. The series follows the story of a princess from the Tang Dynasty who vows revenge after her kin get murdered.

The show, which is about half way through its schedule, has already generated 1.3 billion views. But word-of-mouth has turned increasingly negative, with viewers complaining about an incoherent plot and a lack of chemistry between the two leads.

But no matter, Dilraba already has another TV drama due to hit the small screen. This time round she will partner with popular actor Yang Yang in the series You Are My Glory, which will also be released on Tencent Video. The theme here is a bit more contemporary: two former high school friends finds themselves reuniting thanks to a video game they both play online.

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