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 Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee.
12
Famous As: Actor, Martial Artist
Birthdate: November 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: July 20, 1973

An iconic actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, in his short life, gained international fame and developed his own form of martial arts, Jeet Kune Do. In films, he debuted as a child actor and became a huge Hollywood star after the release of his last film Enter the Dragon.

 2 Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong.
19
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Communist Leader of China
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 .

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 3 Jack Ma

Jack Ma.
19
Listed In: Business People
Famous As: Chinese business magnate
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. 

 4 Confucius

Confucius.
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Famous As: Renowned Chinese teacher, politician, and philosopher
Birthdate: September 28, 0551
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Qufu
Died: 0479 BC

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 Jet Li

Jet Li.
4
Famous As: Actor
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.

 6 Qin Shi Huang

Qin Shi Huang.
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Famous As: King
Birthdate: 0259 BC
Birthplace: Handan, 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 Yip Man

Yip Man.
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Martial Artist
Birthdate: October 1, 1893
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Foshan
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.

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 8 Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping.
5
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
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.

 9 Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Lao Tzu (Laozi).
1
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: 0601 BC
Birthplace: Henan
Died: 0531 BC
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.

 10 Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Ancient Military General, Strategist & Philosopher
Birthdate: 0544 BC
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.

 11 Yao Ming

Yao Ming.
2
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Basketball Player
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.

 12 Chiang Kai-shek

Chiang Kai-shek.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: President of the Republic of China
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.

 13 Ming Na Wen

Ming Na Wen.
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 20, 1963
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Coloane, Macau
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.

 14 Liu Yifei

Liu Yifei.
4
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actress, Singer, Model
Birthdate: August 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wuhan, Hubei, 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 Kris Wu

Kris Wu.
9
Famous As: Actor, model, singer
Birthdate: November 6, 1990
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Guangzhou
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.

 16 Dylan Wang

Dylan Wang.
9
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actor
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

 17 Bodhidharma

Bodhidharma.
7
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Buddhist Monk
Birthdate: 0483 AD
Birthplace: India
Died: 0540 AD

Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who is believed to have started the physical training in China's Shaolin Temple and therefore is credited with the creation of Shaolin kungfu. Not a Chinese by birth, Bodhidharma is also believed to have transmitted Chan Buddhism to China. 

 18 Dilraba Dilmurat

Dilraba Dilmurat.
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 3, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ürümqi, Xinjiang, 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.

 19 Empress Dowager Cixi

Empress Dowager Cixi.
3
Famous As: Chinese Empress Dowager
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.  

 20 Puyi

Puyi.
0
Famous As: Last Emperor of China
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Prince Chun Mansion, 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.

 21 Angelababy

Angelababy.
2
Famous As: Model
Birthdate: February 28, 1989
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Shanghai, China

Angelababy is an actress, model, and singer who was selected as one of the New Four Dan Actresses in 2013 by Southern Metropolis Daily. She is known for playing Ding Sitian in the 2015 Chinese action adventure thriller film Mojin: The Lost Legend, for which she received the prestigious Hundred Flowers Award in 2016. Angelababy is also a well-known philanthropist.

 22 Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi.
4
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actress
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.

 23 Fan Bingbing

Fan Bingbing.
3
Famous As: Actress, Singer
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

 24 Sun Yat Sen

Sun Yat Sen.
0
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Chinese Revolutionary and 'Father of Modern china'
Birthdate: November 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zhongshan
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.

 25 Zheng He

Zheng He.
4
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Explorer
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.

 26 Shen Yue

Shen Yue.
3
Famous As: Actress, Model
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 Simu Liu

Simu Liu
6
Famous As: Actor
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.

 28 Wu Zetian

Wu Zetian.
1
Famous As: Chinese Empress
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.

 29 Lin Dan

Lin Dan.
3
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Badminton Player
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.

 30 Stephen Chow

Stephen Chow
1
Famous As: Film director, Actor, Film producer, Screenwriter, Comedian
Birthdate: June 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hong Kong

Stephen Chow is a Hong Kong actor, producer, and filmmaker. He is best known for playing important characters in martial arts films like Shaolin Soccer. Apart from appearing in Shaolin Soccer, Chow also directed the film which grossed more than US$50 million. Renowned for his work in comedy, Chow was nicknamed King of Comedy by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

 31 Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
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.

 32 Chloe Zhao

Chloe Zhao.
5
Famous As: Film Director
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.

 33 Yang Mi

Yang Mi.
1
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: September 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Xuanwu District, Beijing
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.

 34 Gong Li

Gong Li.
5
Famous As: Actress
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.

 35 Ching Shih

Ching Shih.
2
Listed In: Criminals
Famous As: 19th Century Pirate
Birthdate: 1775 AD
Birthplace: Guangzhou, Guangdong, Qing
Died: 1844 AD

Ching Shih went from being a prostitute who worked in a Canton brothel to a notorious pirate who controlled the Red Flag Fleet. Legend has it that pirate Zhèng Yi, or Cheng I, had married Ching Shih when he raided her brothel, and she had then taken over his fleet.

 36 Hu Yi Tian

Hu Yi Tian.
2
Listed In: Fashion
Famous As: Actor
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.

 37 Ma Huateng

Ma Huateng.
0
Listed In: Engineers
Famous As: CEO of Tencent
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.

 38 Bolo Yeung

Bolo Yeung
1
Listed In: Sportspersons
Famous As: Bodybuilder
Birthdate: July 3, 1946
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Guangzhou, China

 39 Zhao Liying

Zhao Liying.
5
Famous As: Chinese Actress
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

 40 Jiang Zemin

Jiang Zemin.
1
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Politician
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. 

 41 Qianlong Emperor

Qianlong Emperor.
1
Famous As: Emperor of China
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.

 42 Xi Mingze

Xi Mingze.
8
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Daughter of Xi Jinping
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.

 43 Cao Cao

Cao Cao.
2
Listed In: Leaders
Famous As: Chinese warlord
Birthdate: March 18, 0155
Sun Sign: Pisces
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.

 44 Jimmy O. Yang

Jimmy O. Yang
0
Famous As: Actor
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.

 45 Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei.
1
Listed In: Architects
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beijing
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.

 46 Victoria Song

Victoria Song.
0
Listed In: Singers
Famous As: Singer
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.

 47 Deng Lun

Deng Lun.
7
Famous As: Actor
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! 

 48 Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar-wai
0
Famous As: Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer
Birthdate: July 17, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shanghai

 49 Xuanzang

Xuanzang
0
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: 0602 AD
Birthplace: Henan
Died: February 5, 0664

 50 Hannah Quinlivan

Hannah Quinlivan
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 12, 1993
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Taipei, Taiwan

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.