Yang Lan

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Yang Lan
Yang Lan - Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2012.jpg
Yang at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in 2012
Born (1968-03-31) March 31, 1968 (age 51)
Beijing, China
Alma materBeijing Foreign Studies University
Columbia University
OccupationCo-founder and chairperson, Sun Media Group
Spouse(s)Zhang Yibin (divorced)
Bruno Wu

Yang Lan (Chinese: 杨澜; pinyin: Yáng Lán; born March 31, 1968) is a Chinese media proprietor, journalist, and talk show hostess. She is the co-founder and chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation. In 2013, she was ranked number 100 in Forbes magazine's 100 World’s Most Powerful Women.[1]

Early life[edit]

Yang Lan was born in 1968 in Beijing. Yang's mother was a civil engineer, and her father taught English literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University, and sometimes served as the official translator for former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.[2] Between 1980–1986, she studied at the High School affiliated to Beijing Polytechnic University (now known as the Beijing Institute of Technology), which is the main high school of Haidian District. Between 1986–1990, she studied at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and received her bachelor's degree in English Language and Literature.[3]


1990-1994: Zheng Da Variety Show[edit]

It had stopped working with several local TV stations and instead cooperated with China Central Television producing a program called the Zheng Da Variety Show. Yang was chosen to be the hostess, and worked together with Jiang Kun. After the Zheng Da Variety Show was aired, Yang received many positive reviews. One year later, because of his busy schedule, Jiang Kun resigned from the host position.

In August 1991, three months later, it seemed that group host idea was unsuccessful. The producers decided to invite Zhao Zhongxiang to be the host with Yang Lan. Yang worked with Zhao for two-and-a-half years.

In late 1993, Dhanin Chearavanont, the CEO of Charoen Pokphand, had dinner in Beijing with the Zheng Da Variety Show crew members, and encouraged her to study abroad and said that he could afford the school fees.[4][5]

1994-1996: Study in Columbia University[edit]

Despite her celebrity, Yang Lan quit the show after four years to go to New York. From January to May 1994, she studied film at New York University. Leaving the Zheng Da Variety Show, she was wondering how to take the next step in her career. She did not want to host another variety show, but wanted instead to work on a social or cultural program. So during her time in America, she studied journalism, including TV news, TV documentaries among other subjects, for two years. At the same time, she also cooperated with Shanghai's Dragon Television, to produce a program called Yang Lan Sight (Chinese: 杨澜视线), introducing recent American art and films, and discussing American society. Each episode was twenty minutes in length.[6]

Then she spent two years earning a master's degree (MIA) from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), where she is now a member of the Columbia University International Advisory Council (IAC).[7]

In August 1995, she took advantage of the summer break and returned to CCTV, and presided over the 95 International Collegiate Debate Competition.[8]

Yang Lan returned to Beijing in January 1996 to attend the celebration of Zheng Da Variety Show, the three hundredth special episode, where she met her old associates: Jiang Kun, Dai Zongxian, Zhao Zhongxiang, and Fang Shu, Fang Hui, Cheng Qian, Yuan Ming, Jiang Feng and Wang Xuechun, also the three Taiwan "tour guides": Li Xiuyuan, Xiejia Xun, Qu Yanling.

1997-1999: Joining Phoenix Television[edit]

In early 1997, Yang took another career risk. She went to work as a public relations representative and spokesperson for Project Hope, China's main charity organization. This took Yang into China's nooks and crannies, from the pockets of growing wealth in the southern coastal provinces to the relentless poverty in the villages of Zhidan county, north of Xi'an. Her conviction grew that her generation needed thoughtful (and entertaining) cultural journalism.[citation needed]

In July 1997, on graduation, Yang went back to Hong Kong to join Phoenix Television, which was 45% owned by STAR-TV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and broadcast general news and entertainment throughout China.

Yang launched her talk show Yang Lan studio (Chinese: 杨澜工作室) in January 1998, which emulated the type of in-depth interviews pioneered by Barbara Walters and David Frost. Among her interviewees: George Soros on his role in the Asian crisis; Nicholas Negroponte on media and telecom strategies; and Andrew Grove on Intel's business in China.

In April 1998, Yang launched These Hundred Years (Chinese: 百年叱咤风云录), which was based a joint production of the BBC and PBS television series People's Century, showing the history of the century through documentary film clips interspersed with her commentary.[9] In 1999, Yang Lan was honored as one of the Asia 20 social and cultural leaders by Asiaweek. In October, she left the Phoenix Chinese Channel to raise her children.[9]

Running weekly from the end of 1997 until the end of 1999, Yang's two shows consistently generated the largest advertising revenue for Phoenix Television.

2000-present: Sun Media Investment Holdings Ltd[edit]

In 2000, Ms. Yang and her husband Dr. Bruno Wu launched Sun TV—the first Chinese historical and cultural channel in Greater China. Sun TV had an exclusive agreement with A+E Networks, one of the leading producers of History and Biography programming in the world. Sun TV adapted A&E’s History and Biography programs into a localized, Mandarin language format, as well as produced its own Chinese programs at its well-equipped production centres in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong.[2]

On June 25, 2001, Yang Lan Studio changed name to Yang Lan One On One (Chinese: 杨澜访谈录). Launched via Sun TV, it addressed the fast-changing environment in the PRC, but also covered international concerns in politics, culture, and the economy. About the program, Yang Lan said:

As our mission is 'to educate through entertainment, and to illuminate through information’, the newly launched Yang Lan Studio is different from its former version and other talk show programs in several aspects. All the interviewees are people who create history or influence the world's development. Besides, we have developed our own unique features by no longer focusing on current issues or a profession, instead, using personal experiences, intuition and wisdom as the main theme, the program attempts to describe the individuals, their way of life and character through flesh and blood experiences which reveal the interviewees’ wisdom and philosophy.

In 2000 and 2001, Sun TV was twice selected by Forbes magazine as the world's best small businesses.

However, in three years, Sun TV accumulated losses of more than 200 million Hong Kong dollars. In June 2003, Yang Lan announced that Sun TV would sell a 70% stake to a mainland Chinese media group, and she was also out of the TV business.

In July 2005, Yang Lan and her husband Bruno Wu announced they had donated Sun Media Group's 51% interest to the society, and established non-profit organization Sun Culture Foundation in Hong Kong. Yang also resigned from all management positions, including chairman of Sun Media Group.

In 2005 she created Her Village, a TV talk show geared toward a Chinese, urban, female audience, which was developed into a multimedia community to empower women. She has been firmly committed to promoting cross-cultural communications.

In 2007, she and Canadian singer Celine Dion announced in Beijing that they would collaborate on founding a jewelry accessories company in China.[10][11] Yang Lan's initial idea of cooperating with Celine Dion was born right after she interviewed the superstar backstage at Dion's Las Vegas show at Caesars Palace hotel-casino in May, where both were surprised to discover they share the same birthday.

Personal life[edit]

Yang Lan was formerly married to Zhang Yibin, but later divorced. During her New York stay Yang met Bruno Wu. They married in a lavish ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in October 1995. Wu comes from an elite Shanghai family, and his grandfather was China's ambassador to the League of Nations in Geneva in the 1920s; his grandmother was killed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution when Wu's parents (and he for a while) were sent to a farm collective for socialist reeducation. With help from François Mitterrand's wife, Wu studied at the University of Savoie in Chambéry in the French Alps before going to America to earn a master's degree in international relations at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He was running his own media consulting firm in New York when he met and married Yang.[12]

Yang and Wu returned to China at the end of 1996. He soon set up shop in Hong Kong, and in 1998 was named the chief operating officer of ATV, one of Hong Kong's two free TV stations. She commuted between Hong Kong and Shanghai and published Enjoy Wind by Seaside (Chinese: 凭海临风) a book of her essays, travel logs and historical sketches compiled during her time at Columbia. That book sold 600,000 copies.[citation needed]

Yang Lan One-on-One[edit]

As a signature TV talk show, Yang Lan One-on-One focuses on getting to know leading figures from the fields of international politics, business, society and culture. On this program, Yang Lan profiles the guests' life stories, career experiences, and personal insights. Its sixteen-year history has made it one of the most highly regarded and well known in-depth talk shows in China. Its host, guided by her personal style and unique viewpoint has, over the years, conducted interviews with a myriad of international figures and celebrities from around the world. Her guests have included: Sophie Marceau, Bill Clinton, Elon Musk, Henry Kissinger, Lee Kuan Yew, Jack Welch, Andrew L. Webber, Tan Dun, Nicole Kidman, Jackie Chan, Kobe Bryant, Hugh Jackman, and Michael Phelps.[citation needed]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

She was chosen to represent China as the ambassador for Beijing’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games,[13] and was named as Goodwill Ambassador for the 2010 Shanghai Expo.[14][15] Currently she is the Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics movement,[16] the first UNICEF Ambassador in China,[17][18] and the co-chair of the Lincoln Center China Advisory Council. Ms Yang was honored with many awards, including Chinese Women of the Year award by Women of China magazine,[19] Top Ten Women Entrepreneurs award co-organized by China Women's Daily and Chinese socio-economic survey center,[20] She Made It: Women Creating Television & Radio award by The Paley Center For Media,[21] Global Leadership Award by SIPA of Columbia University,[22] the National Philanthropy Award by the Ministry of Civil Affairs,[23] and Women’s Achievement Award in China.


  • Enjoy Wind by Seaside (Chinese: 凭海临风) ISBN 9787532115471
  • One Question, One World (Chinese: 一问一世界)[24]


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Celine: Through the Eyes of the World Herself
2013 So Young Herself

[citation needed]


Yang was the spokesperson of Colgate toothpaste (2009),[25] Nanshan Bywise milk powder (2010),[26] Bluemoon hand sanitizer (2010),[27] Masterkong mineralized Water (2013),[28] and Deli stationery[29] (2015).[30]

The Olympics[edit]

1993.09 --- Representative for the 2000 Olympics bid delegation team for China
2001.07.13 --- Olympic Goodwill Ambassador & Presentation Speaker
2004.06.09 --- 2004 Athens Olympic torchbearer
2007.01 --- Executive producer and host of Olympic Songfest, a TV program to select the Olympic songs and music
2007.08.08 --- Host of Beijing 2008 One-year Countdown
2008.05.04 --- 2008 Beijing Olympic torchbearer
2008.08.24 --- Host at the Closing Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics


  1. ^ "2013's Most Powerful Women: Newcomers". Forbes. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2013-12-10. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b "Famed Anchorwoman Yang Lan". xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2003. Retrieved August 13, 2003. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Yang Lan". caaspeakers.com. Archived from the original on 4 January 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ "谢国民 在杨澜人生转折的时候". sina.com.cn. November 4, 2004. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2004. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ "杨澜遇人生最大恩人". 163.com. September 18, 2012. Archived from the original on February 23, 2016. Retrieved September 18, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "杨澜:优质女人宠辱不惊". xinhuanet.com. October 30, 2007. Archived from the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Yang Lan". columbia.edu. Archived from the original on September 15, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2006. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "2000 年下半年". gmw.cn. April 14, 2011. Archived from the original on May 4, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ a b "《百年叱咤风云录》". sina.com.cn. Archived from the original on November 23, 2007. Retrieved November 13, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ ""Made In China" Brand, LAN Fine Jewellery Takes On The Luxury Giants". jingdaily.com. April 6, 2011. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ "Celine Dion launched fine jewellery line with Yang Lan". diamondworld.net. July 3, 2009. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "A Star Is Born". forbes.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2000. Retrieved June 13, 2000. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help); Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  13. ^ "Beijing Chose Four New Olympic Image Ambassadors". people.com.cn. January 16, 2001. Archived from the original on December 16, 2004. Retrieved January 16, 2001. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ "杨澜、谭盾、刘德华、李宁出任世博"大使"". expo2010.cn. March 12, 2010. Archived from the original on March 14, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ "Four more goodwill ambassadors selected for Shanghai Expo". people.com.cn. March 12, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010.
  16. ^ "China's Yang Lan Named Global Ambassador for Special Olympics". specialolympics.org. September 24, 2011. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  17. ^ "UNICEF People". unicef.org. Archived from the original on April 28, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  18. ^ "Yang Lan appointed UNICEF ambassador in China". china.org.cn. April 23, 2010. Archived from the original on September 3, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ "中国妇女时代人物揭晓 杨澜榜上有名". people.com.cn. March 5, 2002. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2002. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ "中国评出10位女性企业风云人物". china.com.cn. September 9, 2002. Archived from the original on November 20, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2002. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "The Paley Center for Media Announces Fifty New Honorees for She Made It: Women Creating Television & Radio". paleycenter.org. November 12, 2007. Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved November 12, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ "Global Leadership Award". columbia.edu. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ "中华慈善奖". china.com.cn. December 20, 2009. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 20, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ "One Question, One World". womenofchina.com.cn. May 27, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011.
  25. ^ "好习惯让你终身受益 --杨澜". sohu.com. July 28, 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  26. ^ "杨澜代言智慧妈妈 南山倍慧借势亮相市场". sohu.com. February 2, 2007. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2007. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  27. ^ "杨澜携手蓝月亮助推液体洗衣低碳生活新观念". bluemoon.com.cn. November 9, 2010. Archived from the original on May 25, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  28. ^ "2013康师傅矿物质水推出新款瓶型安心喝享健康". masterkong.com.cn. June 6, 2013. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  29. ^ "Deli officials website". Archived from the original on 2016-02-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  30. ^ "得力文具新广告". v.youku.com. February 5, 2015. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved February 5, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]