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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yao tops Forbes' celebrity list again

The Houston Rockets'star Yao Ming has topped Forbes magazine's list of Chinese celebrities again.
Yao signed a five-year,$75 million contract,and earned the ranking again.The 7-foot-6 basketball player and three-time NBA All-star has one year left on his first contract,which will pay him more than $5.5 million next season.
Yao earned $18.5 million in 2004,about 25 percent higher than the year before.As an international sports icon,Yao has been in advertisements for Apple Computer in the past year and has a multimilliom-dollar contract with Reebok International this year.
Second on the list was actress Zhang Ziyi,an Academy Award presenter this year,followed by Olympic gold medal winner Liu Xiang.Due to his strong showing in last summer's Olympic Games,Liu jumped from 90th place last year to third place this year.
Other athletes on the list included Olympic chaimpion divers Tain Liang and Guo JingJing ,ranked 16th and 17th ,Manchester City soccer player Sun Jihai,34th,and Sheffield United player Hao Haidong,55th.
The list looked at the income and popularity of celebrities in film,sports, media, music and publishing.Those listed had to have been born and had to have grown up in mainland China.Celebrities from Hong Kong, Taiwan,Macao and other parts of the Chinese-speaking world were not included.

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