Finance magnate Chen Jinfei backs actress Liu Yifei

By Nhu Anh   June 12, 2024 | 05:15 am PT
Finance magnate Chen Jinfei played a pivotal role in bringing Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei from the U.S. to China and helping her fulfill her dream of becoming an actress.
Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei . Photo from Lius Instagram

Chinese-American actress Liu Yifei . Photo from Liu's Instagram

According to East Money, public interest in the relationship between Chen and Liu has resurfaced following the revelation that Chen produced Liu’s latest TV film "The Tale of Rose," which premiered on June 8.

Chen is also the CEO of Liu’s management agency Hongxingwu Entertainment, holding 90% of the company’s shares. Liu is currently the sole artist at the company.

The relationship between Chen and Liu dates back to her childhood, as he is a friend of her mother. Chen once shared in a media interaction: "Yifei has called me "dad" since she was five years old."

"In Western terms, I am her godfather."

Following her parents’ divorce, Liu moved to the U.S. with her mother. At the age of 13, she confided her acting aspirations to Chen, who then began making plans to support her ambition. He brought Liu back to China the next year and personally facilitated her entry into the entertainment industry.

Chen’s efforts helped Liu secure prominent roles in major projects alongside renowned Chinese directors and actors, contributing to her rapid rise to fame. Her roles in TV series like "The Story of a Noble Family" (2003), "Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils" (2003), and "The Return of the Condor Heroes" (2006) gained popularity across Asia before she even turned 18.

At 18, Chen celebrated Liu’s coming-of-age with a lavish ceremony costing 1.8 million yuan (US$248,354). Accỏding to Mtime, he stated at the time: "This is money I’ve earned without harming anyone."

"I want Yifei to be happy, to hold onto the joy and happiness of coming of age."

Liu’s career continued to soar as she became the first Chinese-origin actress to play a Disney "princess," a designation for leading female characters in Disney’s franchises, with her role in the 2017 film "Mulan." Chen noted that Liu landed the part after multiple casting rounds and commended her commitment to martial arts training, physical conditioning, and acting.

In addition to securing her as a leading actress in China since her debut, Chen has also facilitated advertising contracts for Liu with international brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Shiseido, and Tissot.

Speculations about the closeness between Chen and Liu intensified after Chen was seen supporting actress Yang Caiyu, who is known for resembling Liu. Despite rumors of a romantic relationship between Chen and Yang, which included a publicly circulated marriage registration image, their relationship has never been officially confirmed.

Chen, 62, is renowned as the CEO of Beijing Tongchan Investment Group and was listed by Forbes in 2000 as one of China’s wealthiest entrepreneurs.

Liu, 37, first rose to prominence with her role in the 2003 TV series "The Story of a Noble Family" and has since made a successful transition to the big screen.

By 2009, she was recognized as one of the New Four Dan actresses, a term used to describe the successors to the four most bankable actresses in China.

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