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China stars deny reported wealth

  |   Feb. 12, 2004 at 6:17 AM
BEIJING, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Chinese sports and entertainment stars denounced as "nonsense" their ranking in Forbes magazine by popularity and income, saying figures are inaccurate.

The Chinese-language Forbes China has published a list of the top 100 celebrities, led by basketball star Yao Ming, reported as earning $12 million last year.

Pop singer Han Hong, ranked 12th, said she doesn't know how the magazine calculated her income at $2.4 million.

"That is too exaggerated," the official Xinhua news agency quoted Han as saying. "Even people with only a little knowledge of the entertainment circle in China know it is impossible for an actor to earn that much in a year."

Shanghai-based dancer Huang Doudou, No. 67 on the list with an income reported at $665,000 last year, also denied the figure, claiming, "My real income is less than a tenth of what they said."

Others on the list included Zhang Ziyi, who starred in the Oscar-winning film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," kung fu movie star Jet Li, Hong Kong-based singer and actress Faye Wong, film star Gong Li and director Zhang Yimou.

Forbes used a formula based on annual salaries and media coverage. The list covered only those born in mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The magazine also listed China's top 100 richest people. Personal wealth of at least $100 million was required to make the list.

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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