The June list of the Jing Daily x R3 Celebrity Index — a monthly ranking of China’s most influential celebrities based on the country’s most important social media platforms, from Weibo and WeChat to Toutiao and Baidu – has the country’s A-list actress Yang Mi topping the popularity ranking of Chinese celebrities after climbing up from third place a month ago.
On May 24, the Italian luxury brand Versace, which is now under control of the American fashion corporation Capri Holdings, announced Yang as its first-ever Chinese brand ambassador, stirring a heated debate over the actress’ compatibility with Versace, a brand that was inspired by the mythological Greek figure Medusa who stands for power, beauty, and strength.
Even though the announcement excited the actress’s more than 100 million followers on Weibo, there was a sizeable amount of discussion centered around Yang’s suitability for the role of Versace representative. One reason online users disagreed with the use of Yang is that the brand’s past muses were powerful Western pop idols like Madonna and Lady Gaga, and Yang appears to have nothing in common with them. The Chinese actress is primarily known for her youthful, teen-girl look, despite the fact that she has a five-year-old daughter. Yet Yang’s massive ability to sell is likely the main reason for the partnership. In China, she serves as a brand ambassador for a slew of fashion and beauty brands, including Michael Kors, Stuart Weitzman, and Estée Lauder, and all these brands have seen sales pick up thanks to her outsized commercial value.
The following ranking of the 20 top celebrity influencers in June is calculated by using data from Weibo’s Fan Base (calculating Activity, Adorable, and Social Influence Indexes), Toutiao, Baidu, and WeChat.
Weibo assumes the most weight, as it’s the platform where fan engagement can be traced. The Baidu, Toutiao, and Wechat indexes are more based on search behavior. The data from Weibo helps indicate the commercial value of each celebrity, especially for the Adorable Index where fans actually use a pay function to express their admiration for a celebrity.
- Activity Index: The Activity Index counts the number of interactions on Weibo, which is a statistical indicator of interactions (including forwarding, commenting, likes, replying to comments, and comment likes on Weibo) generated by the content posted by the star over the past 30 days (including posts and comments).
- Adorable Index: This refers to the fans’ contribution to the celebrity. Weibo has a mechanism where fans can contribute their admiration to the celebrity by giving virtual flowers which aren’t free. The adorable index is generated from the number of flowers the celebrity receives monthly.
- Social Influence Index: There’s a large number of users publishing microblogs daily that mention celebrities. These microblogs are read by other users, and the number of readings reflects the recent popularity of a celebrity. In addition, a large number of users search for celebrities on Weibo every day, and the search volume generated also reflects the recent popularity of those celebrities. This data adds up to the social influence index of the celebrity.