Similar to Jennifer Lopez in China is Zhao Wei. She resembles Reese Witherspoon plus Jennifer Lopez more than anything else in China. She is an actress, singer, director, producer, and businesswoman who is also known by the name Vicki Zhao. Vicki is wealthy, much like Jennifer and Reese are. extremely wealthy Much wealthier than the American counterparts of celebrity moguls.
Zhao’s triumph would put her on the first page of the Wall Street Journal in the United States. Vicki is in a lot of trouble with her government in China as a result of her level of achievement. So much so that she recently had her account removed from Chinese streaming and internet services. She then had to board a private plane to leave the country and may currently be living on the run.
(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images )
On March 12, 1976, Zhao Wei was born in Wuhu, Anhui, China. In her senior year of high school, Zhao scored a silent cameo part as a brothel prostitute in the Wuhu film “A Soul Haunted by Painting.” She fell in love with acting after her first performance.
She relocated to Shanghai when she was 18 and enrolled in an acting program. She was granted coveted admission to the School of Performing Arts at the Beijing Film Academy in 1996. In the entire nation that year, she had the best admission exam scores of any applicant.
While still enrolled in classes at the Beijing Film Academy, Zhao started to make appearances on the television program “My Fair Princess” in 1998. The program became an unexpected hit, drawing huge audiences from all throughout Southeast Asia and instantly making Zhao a household figure. She later won the Chinese equivalent of a Best Actress Emmy for the performance.
She began concentrating on films in 2001, starting with “Shaolin Soccer.” Zhao made numerous film appearances throughout the course of the following two decades, many of which were commercial successes. She could easily demand between $10 and $20 million for each film.
In 2012, a time when she was one of the country’s most-famous celebrities, Zhao decided to go back to school. She enrolled once more at the Beijing Film Academy, where she graduated with an MFA from the directing program.
Her first film as a filmmaker, “So Young,” was released a year later. Zhao Wei became the first female filmmaker whose first picture made more than 100 million yuan in its first weekend thanks to the movie’s 141 million yuan gross. The film made 350 million yuan in one week. In the end, it brought in 700 million Yuan. That is around $109 million USD. It was the fifth-highest grossing film in Chinese box office history at the time.
Zhao has sponsorship agreements with well over 100 big brands over the years. Her endorsement portfolio features some of the most notable companies, such as Versace, Motorola, Samsung, DeBeers, Dior, and Mercedes Benz. She currently serves as the Italian fashion house Fendi’s principal Chinese ambassador.
Alibaba Pictures and Other Investments
A few months later, in December 2014, Jack reached out to Zhao Wei and her husband Huang. He encouraged them to buy stock in Alibaba Pictures.
The price of Alibaba Picture’s stock then skyrocketed. The company was worth $10 billion in just six months. Zhao’s stake in Alibaba was worth more than $1 billion as of today after taxes and some dilution.
Zhao and Huang continued to invest in venture capital with their newly acquired fortune. They acquired a mobile gaming company and an animation studio through their investment firm, Longwei Culture & Media. At some point, they both were listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
Zhao and Huang were banned from the Chinese stock market for 5 years in 2018. The pair allegedly utilized her notoriety to announce a planned acquisition of a company that they may not have genuinely intended to buy or could not afford, according to accounts from the time. But life continued.
Why is this Happening?
The “fan” culture of celebrities is being outlawed in China, according to recent government initiatives. Zhao Wei is possibly the most well-known and wealthy Chinese celebrity, which makes her a top target for law enforcement. Her connection to Jack Ma has also not helped. Chinese regulators have been harassing Jack for months. The regulators went so far as to scuttle the planned IPO for his payment company, costing the mogul billions.
On the Run
Over the weekend, after she had been effectively deleted from the world, Zhao and her husband were reportedly seen boarding their private jet and fleeing from a Chinese airport. Few miles from where they own their vineyard, that same jet was apparently seen landing in Bordeaux, France, hours later.
Zhao denied these rumors in an Instagram post, claiming she was staying with her parents in Beijing. That post was quickly removed.
The Zhao Wei situation is a major mystery that is unfolding as we speak. If we learn more about her whereabouts, we’ll let you know.