Chinese

Friendly, accommodating and polite, the Chinese people would go to great lengths to avoid conflicts or embarrassment. Quiet and unassuming on the surface, yet burning with passion and determination on the inside, the Chinese have aptly earned the title ‘The Sleeping Dragon’. China is one of the most ancient civilizations and her contributions to the world are immeasurable. One of the world’s fastest growing economies, China has been among the largest and most complicated economies over the past two thousand years. The Chinese are very hardworking, creative, and intellectual.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 
Jackie Chan
(Actor, Martial Artist)

Jackie Chan
36
Birthdate: April 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Jackie Chan is a martial artist, actor, film director, screenwriter and singer and is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing and innovative stunts in his films, which he performs himself. Rumble in the Bronx, Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour are some of his popular Hollywood films. He has a widespread following in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres.

 2 
Jack Ma
(Businessman)

Jack Ma
42
Listed In: Business People
Birthdate: September 10, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hangzhou, China
Jack Ma’s journey from being a tourist guide to establishing the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba is inspirational. Initially rejected by various companies, he is the second-wealthiest person in China as of 2020. After quitting his post of executive chairman of Alibaba in 2019, he focused on philanthropy and environmental causes. 

 3 
Jet Li
(Actor, Martial artist)

Jet Li
19
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: April 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beijing, China

Jet Li is one of the most popular Asian actors to have made it big in the American film industry. A martial artist and former Wushu champion, he won a national championship before retiring from competitive Wushu to focus on his acting career. Also a well-known philanthropist, Jet Li is closely associated with the Red Cross Society of China.

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 4 
Confucius
(Philosopher)

Confucius
12
Birthdate: 0551 BC
Birthplace: Lu, Shandong, China
Died: April 11, 0479

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher whose philosophy came to be known as Confucianism. Confucianism is often credited with shaping Chinese communities and East Asian societies. Confucius is considered one of the most influential individuals in the history of mankind as his teachings have had a great impact on people around the world. His philosophy continues to remain influential.

 5 
Yip Man
(Martial artist)

Yip Man
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Foshan, China
Died: December 2, 1972

Yip Man was a Chinese martial artist best remembered for teaching martial arts to the famous Chinese American martial artist, Bruce Lee. Yip Man is credited with teaching not only Bruce Lee but also many other students who went on to become martial arts masters. A biographical martial arts film titled Ip Man was inspired by his life and career.

 6 
Qin Shi Huang
(King of Qin (221-210BC))

Qin Shi Huang
30
Birthdate: February 18, 0259
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: China
Died: 0210 BC

Qin Shi Huang is credited with founding the Qin dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China. He reigned as the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC. Under his rule, the Chinese state expanded greatly and he also enacted major political and economic reforms. His life and work inspired several films like The Emperor's Shadow.

 7 
Sun Tzu
(Military general)

Sun Tzu
10
Birthdate: 0544 BC
Birthplace: Qi, China
Died: 0496 BC
Sun Tzu was a Chinese general from the Eastern Zhou period. He is known to have written The Art of War, which propagated various alternatives to battles, such as alliances and use of spies, to win wars. He is said to be the same as Sun Wu and Sun Bin.
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 8 
Lao Tzu (Laozi)
(Philosopher)

Lao Tzu (Laozi)
10
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Chu, China
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, or Laozi, who is said to have lived in 6th-century BC by some and in the 4th-century BC by others, wrote the Tao Te Ching. He founded Taoism and is a legendary figure or deity. The Tang Dynasty emperors claimed he had founded their lineage.

 9 
Deng Xiaoping
(Politician)

Deng Xiaoping
17
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Guang'an, China
Died: February 19, 1997
Deng Xiaoping led the People's Republic of China from 1978 to 1989. He ordered a crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protestors in 1989, leading to the June Fourth Massacre. However, he also earned the tag of the "Architect of Modern China" for ushering in a market economy in the country.

 10 
Yao Ming
(Basketball Player)

Yao Ming
5
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

Widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese basketball players ever, Yao Ming represented the Houston Rockets of the NBA. Known as the Ming Dynasty in the US, Ming's popularity and success in the NBA made him a symbol of China. One of China's most popular sportsmen, Ming is also credited with introducing the Chinese Basketball Association to the world.

 11 
Simu Liu
(Actor)

Simu Liu
40
Birthdate: April 19, 1989
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harbin, China

Born in China, Simu Liu moved to Canada at 5. A business administration graduate, he took to acting after being laid off by Deloitte. Trained in martial arts, he initially found work as a stunt man. He is best known for his Canadian Screen Award-nominated role in Blood and Water.

 12 
Ming Na Wen
(Actress)

Ming Na Wen
5
Birthdate: November 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coloane, Coloane Village, Macao
Ming-Na Wen is best known as the voice of Fa Mulan in the Mulan animated film series and the video game Kingdom Hearts II. Fans also loved her as Melinda May in the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as Dr. Jing-Mei "Deb" Chen in ER, and as Rachel Lu in Inconceivable.

 13 
Mao Zedong
(Communist Leader of China)

Mao Zedong
48
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shaoshan, Xiangtan, China
Died: September 9, 1976

One of the most significant and controversial leaders of the 20th century, Mao Zedong was a communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of China which he governed as the chairman of Chinese Communist Party. He is appreciated for numerous development work but is criticised for his authoritarian regime and policies which resulted in millions of deaths .

 14 
Liu Yifei
(Actress)

Liu Yifei
9
Birthdate: August 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wuhan, China

Popularly known as Fairy Sister, Liu Yifei is a famous actress, singer, and model. In 2009, she was named among the New Four Dan actresses of China. As a singer, she has released a couple of albums including a Japanese album titled All My Words. In 2020, she was ranked 30th in the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list.

 15 
Dylan Wang
(Actor)

Dylan Wang
24
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: December 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chengdu

Dylan Wang is a Chinese singer, rapper, model, and actor. He achieved international fame for his portrayal of Daoming Si in the popular TV series, Meteor Garden. Apart from being an entertainer, Dylan is also a basketball enthusiast. In 2019, he participated in a celebrity basketball game and helped his team secure a win at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center

 16 

Dilraba Dilmurat
30
Birthdate: June 3, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ürümqi, China
Dilraba Dilmurat, also known as Dilireba, is a Chinese actor and model of Uyghur descent. She is known for her roles in films such as Mr. Pride vs Miss Prejudice and series such as The Backlight of Love. She has also been featured on Forbes China Celebrity 100 multiple times.

 17 
Zhang Ziyi
(Actress)

Zhang Ziyi
19
Birthdate: February 9, 1979
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Chinese actor Zhang Ziyi began as a dancer and soared to fame with her role in the Academy Award-nominated film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Fans also loved her in Rush Hour 2 and Memoirs of a Geisha. Her role in the film The Grandmaster won Ziyi 12 "Best Actress" awards.

 18 
Zheng He
(Explorer)

Zheng He
9
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: September 23, 1371
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Yunnan
Died: 1433 AD
Chinese explorer Zheng He was also Chinese Ming dynasty eunuch. He was born Ma He, a Muslim, and was named Zheng by the Yongle Emperor, whom he helped to depose the Jianwen Emperor. He became the commander of Nanjing and led expeditions to places such as Southeast Asia and India.

 19 
Fan Bingbing
(Actress, Singer)

Fan Bingbing
6
Birthdate: September 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Qingdao, Shandong, China
Chinese actor Fan Bingbing is best known for her roles in hits such as Cell Phone and X-Men: Days of Future Past. She was featured on Forbes China Celebrity 100 for 4 years. She is a fashion icon and has also served as a judge at the Academy Awards

 20 
Sun Yat-Sen
(President of the Republic of China (1912))

Sun Yat-Sen
2
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: November 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cuiheng, Zhongshan, China
Died: March 12, 1925
Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat Sen, also known as the "Father of the Nation" in China, ousted the Qing Dynasty in 1911. He was the first leader of the Nationalist Party of China and laid down the Three Principles of the People, which included nationalism, democracy, and livelihood.

 21 
Puyi
(Emperor of China (1908-12))

Puyi
9
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: October 17, 1967

Puyi served as the final emperor of China's last imperial dynasty, The Qing dynasty. After Manchuria was invaded by Japan, Puyi became a puppet at the hands of the Japanese and was chosen as the emperor of the puppet state of Manchukuo. He then signed many edicts, given to him by the Japanese, including the one that made slavery legal.

 22 
I. M. Pei
(Architect)

I. M. Pei
15
Listed In: Architects
Birthdate: April 26, 1917
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China
Died: May 16, 2019

I. M. Pei was a Chinese-American architect who drew inspiration from the garden villas at Suzhou when he was young. He is credited with founding I. M. Pei & Associates, an independent design firm, in 1955. Today, the award-winning firm is known by the name, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners. Pei is known for designing structures like the Mesa Laboratory.

 23 
Empress Dowager Cixi
(Chinese Empress Dowager)

Empress Dowager Cixi
10
Birthdate: November 29, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: November 15, 1908

Empress Dowager Cixi was a Chinese regent and empress dowager. From 1861 to 1908, Cixi served as the de facto supreme ruler of the Qing dynasty. She is credited with overseeing a series of moderate reforms called the Tongzhi Restoration, which helped the regime survive for a long period of time. She also supported military and technological reforms.  

 24 
Kris Wu
(Rapper)

Kris Wu
29
Listed In: Musicians
Birthdate: November 6, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China
Chinese-Canadian actor/singer Wu Yifan, better known as Kris Wu, previously performed as part of the South Korean-Chinese boy band EXO. He has also had a successful solo career, with hits such as Good Kid, and has starred in films such as Mr. Six and XXX: Return of Xander Cage.

 25 
Bolo Yeung
(Bodybuilder)

Bolo Yeung
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: July 3, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China

Bolo Yeung is a Hong Kong retired competitive bodybuilder and martial arts film actor. He is best known for his performance in popular films like Enter the Dragon and Bloodsport. He has also played lead roles in films like Ironheart, which is regarded as a cult classic. As a bodybuilder, Yeung held the Mr. Hong Kong title for ten years.  

 26 
Shen Yue
(Actress, Model)

Shen Yue
9
Birthdate: February 27, 1997
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Wugang, Hunan

Shen Yue is a Chinese actress, model, and singer. She is known for playing important roles in TV series like A Love So Beautiful. Also known for her philanthropic efforts, Shen Yue won the Next Generation Influencers for Global Philanthropy award in 2019. The same year, she won the Philanthropy Idol of the Year at the Madame Figaro Fashion Awards.

 27 
Lin Dan
(Badminton Player)

Lin Dan
8
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: October 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Longyan

With 666 career wins, including two Olympic and two World Cup golds, Lin Dan is one of the veterans of Chinese badminton. He is the only player to achieve a Super Slam, winning all nine major badminton titles. Known for his fitness and attacking style, Dan retired at 37.

 28 
Chiang Kai-shek
(President of the Republic of China)

Chiang Kai-shek
19
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: October 31, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Xikou
Died: April 5, 1975

Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese revolutionary who led the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in mainland China until 1949 and later on in Taiwan until his death. He is credited with successfully leading the Northern Expedition against the Beiyang government, achieving Chinese unification. He was involved in a civil war with Communist Party of China, which he lost in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan.

 29 
Chloe Zhao
(Film Director)

Chloe Zhao
9
Birthdate: March 31, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao is best known for directing films such as Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider, both of which earned Independent Spirit Award nominations. Her film Nomadland won her the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. She is also directing the Marvel film Eternals.

 30 

Jimmy O. Yang
5
Birthdate: June 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: British Hong Kong

Born in Hong Kong, Jimmy O. Yang moved to the U.S. with his parents at 13. Although equipped with an economics degree, he found his calling in comedy and established himself as a talented stand-up comedian. He is now known for his roles in Silicon Valley and Crazy Rich Asians.

 31 
Wu Zetian
(Chinese Empress)

Wu Zetian
8
Birthdate: February 17, 0624
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lizhou, Tang Dynasty
Died: December 16, 0705

Wu Zetian was a Chinese empress regnant who ruled the Zhou dynasty from 690 to 705. She is the only female monarch in Chinese history. Before ruling the Zhou dynasty, Wu Zetian had served as the de facto ruler of China from 665 to 690. Under her political and military leadership, the Chinese empire expanded beyond its former territorial limits.

 32 
Gong Li
(Actress)

Gong Li
12
Birthdate: December 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shenyang, Liaoning, China
Gong Li is best known for her roles in Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu Ju, and the live-action version of Mulan. She was the first Asian to head the jury at both the Berlin and Venice film festivals and served as a FAO goodwill ambassador.

 33 
Ma Huateng
(CEO of Tencent)

Ma Huateng
3
Listed In: Engineers
Birthdate: October 29, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chaoyang, Shantou

Chinese business magnate Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, is best known as the founder, chairman, and CEO of the technology giant Tencent. His company owns the messaging app WeChat. One of CEOWORLD’s Most Powerful People in the World, he was a delegate of the 12th National People's Congress.

 34 
Yang Mi
(Actress, Singer)

Yang Mi
6
Birthdate: September 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Chinese actor and singer Yang Mi soared to fame with the series Tang Ming Huang and later appeared in series such as Chinese Paladin 3 and Swords of Legends. She has also appeared in movies such as Mysterious Island, the Tiny Times film franchise, and The Witness.

 35 
Hu Jintao
(Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China)

Hu Jintao
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Taizhou

President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 2003 to 2013, Hu Jintao is believed to have given shape to the belligerent China that Xi Jinping unleashed on the world. He was conservative with political reforms and reintroduced state control in several sectors. Known for his reserved and modest leadership style, his tenure marked consensus based rule and collective leadership.

 36 
Zhao Liying
(Chinese Actress)

Zhao Liying
10
Birthdate: October 16, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Langfang, China
Chinese actor Zhao Liying, or Zanilia Zhao, soared to fame with her roles in series such as Legend of Lu Zhen, The Journey of Flower, and Legend of Fei. She won the 2006 Yahoo Search Star Game and has also appeared in films such as Crazy New Year's Eve

 37 
Qianlong Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Qianlong Emperor
3
Birthdate: September 25, 1711
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lama Temple, Beijing, China
Died: February 7, 1799
The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was the fourth son of the Yongzheng Emperor and reigned over China from 1735 to 1796. Known for the economic prosperity and military prowess his kingdom gained under his rule, he continued to indirectly rule as the Retired Emperor even after his abdication.

 38 
Hu Yi Tian
(Actor)

Hu Yi Tian
10
Listed In: Fashion
Birthdate: December 26, 1993
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hangzhou

After making waves with his TV debut in A Rush to Dead Summer, Chinese actor Hu Yitian gained accolades and awards for his role of Jiang Chen in the Tencent series A Love So Beautiful. He has also appeared on reality shows such as Twenty-Four Hours.

 39 
Xi Mingze
(Daughter of Xi Jinping)

Xi Mingze
22
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: June 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Funian, Sichuan

Xi Mingze is the daughter of the Chinese President and Paramount Leader Xi Jinping. She prefers to keep a low profile, and made her first public appearance alongside her parents in 2013. In 2008, she had volunteered as a relief worker in Hanwang, Mianzhu after the Great Sichuan earthquake.

 40 
Cao Cao
(Politician, Poet, Warlord)

Cao Cao
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0155 AD
Birthplace: Bozhou, Anhui, China
Died: March 15, 0220

Cao Cao was a Chinese warlord, poet, and statesman. He played an important role in laying the foundations for the state of Cao Wei, which was formed shortly after his death. Although he was posthumously honoured with the title Emperor Wu of Wei, Cao Cao never ruled as an emperor, but kept Emperor Xian under his control.

 41 

Victoria Song
1
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: February 2, 1987
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Qingdao, Shandong, China

Victoria Song is a Chinese actress, singer, dancer, TV presenter, model, and author. Over the years, she has received several awards, such as an MBC Entertainment Award and China TV Drama Awards. In 2017, 2019, and 2020, she was named on the Forbes China Celebrity 100 list. Also a philanthropist, Victoria Song has worked alongside organizations like UNICEF and Red Cross.

 42 
Ai Weiwei
(Artistic Consultant for Design of the Beijing National Stadium and Documentarian)

Ai Weiwei
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Named Art Review’s most powerful artist in 2011, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has become a symbol of resilience against the authoritarian Chinese government. Jailed and banned from leaving the country once, he is known for using various media, such as sculpture, photos, and documentaries, to reflect Chinese human-rights abuses.

 43 
Deng Lun
(Actor)

Deng Lun
15
Birthdate: October 21, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province

Deng Lun soared to fame with the xianxia series Ashes of Love. The star of The Yin-Yang Master film franchise, Lun was named Esquire’s Most Commercially Valuable Artist of the Year. He has also appeared in the series Flowers in Fog and the reality show Go Fighting! 

 44 
Lu Bu
(Military General)

Lu Bu
3
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 0161 AD
Birthplace: Wuyuan Commandery, China
Died: February 7, 0199

 45 
Joan Chen
(Actress Who Gained Fame for her Role in 'The Last Emperor')

Joan Chen
1
Birthdate: April 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Chinese-American actor Joan Chen initially came to be known for the films Little Flower and The Last Emperor and later appeared as Jocelyn 'Josie' Packard in the series Twin Peaks. She also delivered a multiple-award-winning role in The Home Song Stories and directed Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl.

 46 
John Woo
(Film director and producer)

John Woo
1
Birthdate: September 22, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China

 47 
Jiang Zemin
(Politician)

Jiang Zemin
4
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yangzhou, Jiangsu

Chinese politician, Jiang Zemin, served as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party from 1989 to 2002. Qualified as an engineer, he joined the Chinese Communist Party when he was in college. Rising through the ranks, he eventually became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Minister of Electronic Industries. 

 48 
Kangxi Emperor
(Emperor of China)

Kangxi Emperor
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1654
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: December 20, 1722
Son of emperor Shunzhi and empress Xiaokang, Xuanye, or the Kangxi Emperor, was the Qing dynasty’s third emperor. Apart from signing the Treaty of Nerchinsk with Russia, he crushed the revolt of the three warlords, known as the Rebellion of Wu Sangui. He was also known to be a workaholic.

 49 

Hannah Quinlivan
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan

 50 
Ludi Lin
(Film actor)

Ludi Lin
3
Birthdate: November 11, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fuzhou, China

Born in China, Ludi Lin spent most of his early years studying in Australia and then moved to Canada. Apart from studying acting, he also took up courses in dietetics and medicine. His martial arts and language skills have helped him grab roles in a lot of Chinese co-productions.

The teachings of the ancient philosopher Confucius laid the foundation for the rich cultural and political heritage of China. His philosophy emphasized on morality, social relationships, justice and sincerity—qualities that the Chinese uphold to this day. From time immemorial Chinese scientists, mathematicians and doctors have made important inventions and discoveries. The contributions of the Chinese to the areas of astronomy, surgery, science and technology, and philosophy have been immense. The modern Chinese are following in the footsteps of their illustrious forefathers in making their homeland proud and enriching the whole of the world with their good works. Browse this section to read all about the famous Chinese who helped shape the world.