Time's 100 most influential list includes Chinese

Updated: 2012-04-20 08:05

By Agencies in New York (China Daily)

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What do singer Adele, soccer genius Lionel Messi and British royal celebrity Pippa Middleton have in common? They're among the 100 most influential people in the world, according to Time magazine.

Time published its annual list on Wednesday, showcasing a typically eclectic mix of personalities, ranging from the rich and powerful, like financier Warren Buffett or United States Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, to popular entertainers like Adele and Beyonce.

The list, broken into moguls, breakouts, icons, pioneers and leader categories, is compiled by Time after an online poll of readers.

This year Time chose 38 women for the top 100, which was more than in previous years.

Although the list is still heavily US-centric, featuring popular Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, it had 54 international names - the first time they outweighed the American contingent.

Chinese real estate tycoon Chan Laiwa, 71, made the list of most influential people.

Chan, also known as Chen Lihua, is set to be in New York for the Time 100 event on April 24.

Time profiled Chan, founder and chairwoman of Fu Wah International Group, as an extremely rare "female self-made billionaire" who "is bringing bling to China".

"She has introduced everything from Ferrari dealerships to luxurious private clubs to a Chinese elite infatuated with its newfound wealth - and is helping shape the tastes of a generation of well-heeled consumers," the profile said.

Born to a noble family, the ethnic Manchu woman - whose ethnic group ruled the last imperial Chinese dynasty, the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) - emerged as the wealthiest woman in the world's most populous nation and fastest-growing economy.

The Forbes website estimated Chan's personal and family wealth at $2.3 billion, as of March.

Actor and comedian Jackie Chan, describing Chan as his "cherished friend," wrote on Time's website that while real estate made Chan rich, "her success comes from her genuine understanding of people, her steadfast dedication to education and the arts, and her profound commitment to philanthropy".

Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping and member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Yang are also on the list. Wang is also Party chief of Guangdong province.

The shadowy group of activist computer hackers, Anonymous, earned a place, despite the list technically being for influential people.

Time Managing Editor Rick Stengel said the list was "about the infinite possibilities of influence and the power of influence to change the world.

"Now (one) can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier - or more ephemeral. Which is why we try to choose those people whose influence is both lasting and, with a few notable exceptions, laudable."

Time 100 is an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as assembled by Time.

First published in 1999 as a result of a debate among several academics, the list has become an annual event.

AFP-China Daily