Blogger Han Han is een van China’s grootste sterren. Hoe verdient hij zijn geld?

Han Han in Shanghai, China in February 2010. It's not so easy being Han Han, the heartthrob race car driver and pop novelist who just happens to be China's most widely read blogger. Traveling incognito is all but impossible. Local officials frequently vie for his endorsement of their latest architectural boondoggles. But Han's most vexing challenge comes from a more formidable nemesis: the unseen censors who delete blog posts they deem objectionable and the publishing police who have held up the release of his new magazine, Foto HH

Han Han werd als blogger een Chinese beroemdheid, maar verdient nu zijn geld als schrijver en filmregisseur. Eigenlijk maakt het niet eens zo veel uit wat hij precies maakt, fans kopen het toch wel - alleen maar om een glimp van zijn privéleven op te vangen.

Han Han, China’s most famous online star, is back in the spotlight.

The young race car driver turned blogger/author accepted a public challenge from Guo Jingming, another former teen idol and best-selling young adult literature author and filmmaker, who said it was time for Han Han to direct his first movie. Not surprisingly, the film has been warmly received.

But what explains Han Han’s virtual icon status in China? For starters, his debut novel, Triple Door, became China’s bestselling literary work of the past 20 years. To sear his cool status in the public mind, the high-school dropout was subsequently offered admission to Shanghai’s Fudan University, one of China’s most prestigious universities — though he turned down the offer.

Still, it was his blog posts that had originally made Han Han a celebrity. In China’s nascent blogging era last decade, before longer posts were taken over by Twitteresque microblogging (weibo) sites, millions in China considered themselves bloggers. But it was rare to see one person’s writings break through — which Han Han did, becoming the unrivaled Chinese master of the direct, informal blogging style of writing.

Which doesn’t mean Han Han is a consciously anti-establishment person. He doesn’t have a rebellious nature. Instead, in today’s world where absurdity reigns, his mix of heart and aura, smarts and sarcasm, make him stand out.

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