Chinese actor Li Yapeng struggles with debt

By Nhu Anh   February 20, 2024 | 05:00 am PT
Chinese actor Li Yapeng, known for his role in "The Legend of the Condor Heroes", lamented his difficulties in repaying his decade-old debts.

"Guys, I’m in so much trouble. I’ve been repaying debts for almost 10 years. When will I pay them off?" he said during a livestream last Sunday.

Chinese actor Li Yapeng and his wife Haiha Jinxi. Photo from Chinese social network Weibo

Chinese actor Li Yapeng and his wife Haiha Jinxi. Photo from Chinese social network Weibo

Li, 53, who is currently married to his second wife, model Haiha Jinxi, highlighted her understanding nature during this challenging period, according to Chinese web portal Sina.

Despite his financial woes, Jinxi refrains from nagging or complaining, and Li expressed his desire to provide a warm and happy life for his small family.

His candid words resonated with many, prompting viewers to send gifts through the "money reward" function on the Chinese social network Douyin. The livestream resulted in Li receiving nearly 3,000 yuan (US$416) in contributions.

However, not everyone sympathized with Li’s situation. Some criticized him for appearing unmanly and seeking pity for help.

Last year the actor admitted to financial struggles due to a 40 million yuan ($5.5 million) debt stemming from real estate investments.

Li primarily earns income through livestream sales, working tirelessly with only 3-4 hours of sleep per day.

Despite labeling himself a "loser" and acknowledging his past unrealistic investments, he continues to work hard to overcome his financial challenges.

Jinxi, Li’s wife, also contributes to their income through livestream sales, despite initial opposition from Li who feared public pressure.

She has remained determined and told her husband, "Life is not always like that. No matter what I do or don’t do, there will be people who make good or bad comments. I just let it go."

Once a top actor in China, Li gained fame for his roles in TV series and movies such as "The Singer" (1997), "Laughing in the Wind" (2001), "The Legend of the Condor Heroes" (2003), and "Eternal Moment" (2011).

After a successful acting career, he transitioned to business in 2011 and married Jinxi in 2022. The couple has a two-year-old daughter.

Jinxi, 34, rose to prominence after participating in the Miss World China contest in 2011 and has pursued a modeling career.

She also took on minor roles in TV series and movies like "Yihai Alliance", "The Flower Blooming in the Moon", and "Under the Skin".

In 2005, Li was previously married to Hong Kong singer-actress Faye Wong. Following their daughter’s birth with a cleft lip in 2006, the couple established the Smile Angel Foundation to support children with similar conditions, according to China Radio International. Li and Faye divorced in 2013.

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