2016 was shaped by a wide range of personalities, in China and abroad. From celebrities to politicians and entrepreneurs, this is a list of who’s who, according to Baidu’s top search results for people in 2016.
1. Song Joong Ki
The South Korean actor became a hit in China for starring in the Korean TV drama “Descendants of the Sun”. The TV series aired in China exclusively on video-streaming site iQIYI, and gained 4.4 billion total views as of the end of November.
2. Wang Baoqiang
A famous actor with a humble background, well known for his frank and lovably foolish characteristics, Wang Baoqiang in August publicly announced that he would divorce his wife, who had an affair with his agent. Wang was the leading actor in award-winning movies such as “A World Without Thieves”.
3. Papi Jiang
Web celeb Papi Jiang began making short videos on popular topics when she was still a student at Beijing’s Central Drama Academy. The videos became a hit across China, and she welcomed in 2016 the peak for her career, landing RMB 12 million of financing for Papitube, a start-up accelerator that she founded.
4. Zhang Jike
Zhang Jike, a table tennis player won the Olympic gold medal in singles and became the seventh Grand Slam champion player in the history of table tennis at the Rio Olympics. However, it is his emotive expressions and the resulting emojis that made him loved by audiences throughout China.
5. Donald Trump
Donald Trump won the Presidential Election of the United States in 2016 and is scheduled to take office on January 20th, 2017. The victory of this American businessman over Hillary Clinton also surprised many Chinese netizens.
6. Tsai Ing-wen
The Taiwanese politician is the second president from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the first female president elected to office. Tsai currently serves as the President of the region of Taiwan.
7. Fu Yuanhui
Fu Yuanhui is a female swimmer and bronze medalist at the Rio Olympics. Her popularity soared for the interview that she took right after the game – the adorable facial expressions and words thrust her into the hearts of people all over the world.
8. Nan Pai San Shu
Originally named Xu Lei, the writer of bestsellers “Lost Tombs” and “The Mystic Nine” achieved new fame and fortune when his works were made into movies and TV dramas in 2016.
9. Hillary Clinton
The First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001 and the 67th U.S. Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, Hillary Clinton lost the Presidential Election in 2016 to Donald Trump, again, to the surprise of many in China.
10. Wang Jianlin
Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Wanda Group, is the richest man in China with a net worth of USD 28.7 billion, according to Forbes China’s 2016 survey. Wang stirred up Chinese social media for an interview in August when he offered financial advice to young people and said, “You shouldn’t be that ambitious. Set a small target first, say, earning 100 million yuan.”
You can also find the top search events of the year on the biggest search engine of China here.
(All photos from Baidu Images)