When we think about Asian cinema, we often focus on K-dramas or Bollywood. But Chinese cinema is a massive and rapidly growing industry, shining brighter than ever. Chinese actors are stealing the show with their impressive martial arts skills, powerful performances, and striking looks. They not only know how to act but also how to dress sharply and groom themselves impeccably.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the 20 Best Chinese Actors to keep an eye on in 2023. These talented individuals have starred in iconic Chinese films that have garnered a huge following, both locally and internationally. Get ready to meet the faces behind the screen, the ones making Chinese cinema a global sensation.
20 Most Popular Chinese Actors Names List In 2023:
Get ready to meet these 20 famous and best male Chinese actors who come as an irresistible combination of talent and charm.
1. Wang Kai:
Eventually, he made a life-changing decision by joining the Central Academy of Drama, where he received his first acting role in “Cold Autumn”. Wang’s natural acting ability and his choice of diverse roles quickly made him a household name in China.
2. Leo Wu:
What makes Leo’s story even more impressive is his academic success. He secured a seat at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy by scoring an impressive 92.85 on the entrance exam. He also found a place on Forbes China’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list.
3. Hu Ge:
Hu Ge is one of China’s most popular actors who rose to fame through the TV series “Chinese Paladin.” Born in Shanghai, he proved to be an all-rounder at his school by excelling in academics and extracurricular activities. He then entered the entertainment industry as a popular TV show host and appeared in commercials even before finishing high school.
His talent earned him a spot at the prestigious Shanghai Theatre Academy, where he began starring in many hit TV shows. Along the way, he garnered numerous awards and recognition, including a ranking of 24th on the 2020 Forbes China Celebrity List.
4. Yang Yang:
Yang Yang isn’t just a Chinese actor; he’s a sensation, adored by a massive fan base for his striking looks and charismatic personality. He earned the title of “Chinese heartthrob” after wowing everyone with his graduation performance, which landed him a role in “The Dream of Red Mansions.” Even before hitting the big screen, Yang was already a household name, thanks to his appearances in commercials and magazine covers.
Aside from his iconic TV drama roles, Yang also became the face of luxury brands, making him even more recognizable across China. He also claimed the 5th spot on the 2017 Forbes China Celebrity 100 list.
5. Dylan Wang:
Dylan Wang is a Chinese actor renowned for his role as “Daoming Si” in the iconic TV series Meteor Garden. Before making his mark in showbiz, Dylan kicked off his career as a flight attendant and poster model. However, it didn’t take long for Dylan to catch the eye of the industry, leading him to appear in numerous popular TV dramas and reality shows.
In 2022, his star power soared with his performance in the costume fairy drama “Love Between Fairy and Devil,” amassing a staggering 10,000 popularity points. Beyond his acting career, Dylan also endorses prestigious luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and even appears on China’s Harper’s Bazaar regularly.
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6. Liu Haoran:
Liu Haoran is another popular Chinese actor, known for his roles in many critically acclaimed films like ‘Legend of the Demon Cat’. Originally from Pingdingshan, Liu moved to Beijing at the age of 12 to attend the Affiliated Secondary School of Beijing Dance Academy. While there, a Chinese director noticed his talent and cast him in the romantic film ‘Beijing Love Story.’ This movie brought him fame along with a nomination for Best New Actor at the 2015 Beijing College Film Festival.
Liu’s acting career has been nothing short of spectacular, with many of his films becoming box office hits and solidifying his status as a household name in China. His achievements even landed him a spot on Forbes China’s 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2018.
7. Lin Gengxin:
Lin Gengxin, also known as Kenny Lin, is a Chinese actor who gained fame for his role in the TV series “Scarlet Heart.” Born in Shenyang, Lin studied theater at the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where he appeared in various low-budget TV shows, short films, and ads.
Following his successful debut, Lin continued to impress with his role in “Xuan Yuan Sword: Scar of the Sky.” In 2014, he starred in the commercially successful film “My Old Classmate,” which won the Jury Prize at the 21st Beijing College Student Film Festival. Throughout his career, Lin received numerous award nominations and took home several, including “Best Newcomer of the Year,” “Best New Actor,” and “Most Popular Actor.”
8. Hu Yitian:
Hu Yitian is a Chinese actor who kicked off his acting journey with the popular TV drama “A Rush to Dead Summer”. Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Hu initially studied landscape architecture and did some modelling before diving into acting full-time.
Following his successful debut, Hu gained wider recognition and collected numerous awards for his role in the 2017 web series “A Love So Beautiful.” He also left a lasting impression in the romantic comedy-drama”Go Go Squid!” despite his brief appearance, winning massive popularity.
Hu’s achievements in acting and his influential status landed him a spot on the Forbes China 30 Under 30 Asia 2019 List.
9. Li Yifeng:
Li Yifeng, originally named Li He, is a Chinese actor and singer who gained recognition through his participation in the 2007 My Hero Contest. Hailing from Chengdu, Sichuan, Li embarked on his acting journey in 2009 with the drama “The Prince of Tennis 2.” His rise to stardom came after he took on a role in the Taiwanese drama “Sunny Happiness,” which earned him popularity in both China and Taiwan. His exceptional performance also earned him the Best New Actor award at the 2011 China TV Drama Awards.
In 2014, Li reached a commercial milestone with his leading role in the fantasy action drama “Swords of Legends.” He also secured a spot on the 2015 Forbes Chinese Celebrity List and was recognized as the “Most Commercially Valuable Celebrity.”
10. Deng Lun:
Deng Lun, also known as Allen Deng, stands out as a popular Chinese film and television actor. He kicked off his journey in 2013 with the romance drama “Flowers in the Fog,” which catapulted him to massive fame and garnered high praise. Critics lauded him as a rare combination of both popularity and skill, acknowledging his captivating looks and acting talent.
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In 2021, China Central Television recognized his outstanding performance in “Faith Makes Great: Tianhe.” Deng also holds impressive viewership records among the “Post-90’s Generation” of actors. Beyond his successful acting career, he has served as a brand ambassador for esteemed luxury brands like Bvlgari, Ralph Lauren, Roger Vivier, and more. Notably, he made history as the first “Post 90’s Generation” actor to feature in the “Big 5” men’s magazines in China.
11. Zhang Zhehan:
Zhang Zhehan is a Chinese actor and singer who began his acting journey in 2010 with the romantic drama “Why Love You”. Born in Xinyu, Jiangxi, Zhang studied acting at the Shanghai Theatre Academy. He shot to fame when he played the role of “Wei Ying” in the Chinese historical drama “Legend of Ban Shu.”
Within a short period, he became well-known for his impressive acting in shows like “Legend of Yunxi,” “The Blooms at Ruyi Pavilion,” and “Word of Honor.” In recognition of his talent and popularity, he received the Weibo Award for Rising Artist of the Year in 2020 and the Weibo Night Award for Most Watched/Followed Actor of the Year in 2021.
However, in that same year, he faced controversy for posting pictures near the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan, leading to a year of domestic boycott.
12. Wang Yibo:
Wang Yibo is a Chinese artist with a dazzling array of talents – he acts, dances, sings, raps, and even races motorcycles professionally. Originally from Luoyang, Henan, Wang’s love for dancing ignited during his childhood. He stole the limelight by making it to the top sixteen in the hip-hop category at the IBD National Dance competition.
He made his acting debut with the film “MBA Partners” and later took on his first leading role in the drama series “Private Shushan Gakuen.” Wang’s natural acting skills and phenomenal dancing abilities swiftly propelled him to stardom, earning him a devoted fanbase.
Beyond the stage and screen, Wang has become one of China’s most influential brand ambassadors and has collaborated with over 30 local and international brands.
13. Zhang Xincheng:
Zhang Xin Cheng is a Chinese actor renowned for his roles as Li Yubing and He Ziqui in the immensely popular dramas “Skate into Love” and “Go Ahead.” Zhang’s journey began in Jingzhou, where he originally aspired to be a professional dancer. He followed his dreams by enrolling at the Beijing Dance Academy.
However, fate had different plans for him and led him towards acting. He earned a bachelor’s degree in musical theatre from the Central Academy of Drama. From his very first appearance in the TV drama “Shuttle Love Millennium,” Zhang’s exceptional talent shone brightly and garnered attention.
In 2020, he achieved a spot on the Forbes China list of 30 Under 30, indicating his status as one of the most influential actors in the country.
14. Luo Yunxi:
Luo Yunxi is a Chinese actor who became a household name for his role in “My Sunshine.” Known by the English name Leo Luo, Leo was always interested in dance. He started his journey by training in ballet from the age of 5 in his hometown, Chengdu, Sichuan.
After graduating from the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Luo worked as a dance instructor at the School of Dance of Macao Conservatory. He made his acting debut in 2012 with the romantic film “The Spring of My Life,” instantly gaining fame. Luo’s popularity grew with each new project, thanks to his natural acting talent and knack for choosing unique roles.
One of his standout performances was as “Runyu” in the romance drama “Ashes of Love,” which earned him critical acclaim. You can also find two wax figures of Luo at Madame Tussaud’s in Shanghai and Beijing.
15. Xiao Zhan:
Xiao Zhan, also known as Sean Zhan is a Chinese actor and singer whose journey in the entertainment world began with the survival show ‘X-Fire.’ Xiao hails from Chongqing and had a deep passion for painting and music since childhood.
He initially gained recognition as a singer and even released his first mini-album in 2016. That same year, he ventured into acting with the Super Star Academy series, which astonishingly garnered 1.68 billion views on the Tencent platform. His big breakthrough came in 2019 with the drama “The Untamed,” where his portrayal of ‘Wei Wuxian’ earned him rave reviews and accolades.
Beyond his acting and music career, Xiao Zhan has become the face of numerous home and international brands which witnessed a major boost in sales after the collaboration.
16. Li Xian:
Li Xian is a Chinese actor whose journey began in 2012 with a minor role in the film “Feng Shui.” It wasn’t until 2020 that he landed his first major role in the film ‘Soul Snatcher.’ Born in Xianning and raised in Jingzhou, he completed his middle school education there before pursuing his passion for acting at the Beijing Film Academy.
After appearing in various movies and TV shows, Li Xian finally took the spotlight as the lead in the thrilling detective series ‘Tientsin Mystic.’ His outstanding performance in the show earned him ‘The Actors of China Award.’ His big commercial breakthrough came with the TV series ‘Go Go Squid!,’ which not only won him an award but also a nomination for the ‘Huading Award.’
Leveraging his star status and brand value, Li Xian has become an endorser for many global and domestic brands.
17. Alen Fang:
Alen Fang is a talented singer and actor from China, whose journey to the spotlight began with the release of his debut single, “Sadness,” with the M4M Group. In 2016, he took his first steps into the acting world with the crime comedy movie “Fake Undercover.”
Alen’s career has been on a steady rise ever since, as he secured numerous iconic roles that made him a household name. Notable among them was his appearance in the idol drama “May You Float Like a Dream” in 2017, followed by the costume idol drama “Peerless Daughter” in 2018. His star status continued to shine in the legendary romantic drama “Nine Stream Overload” in 2020.
18. Bai Jingting:
Bai Jingting is a Chinese actor renowned for his roles in popular TV and web series such as “The Whirlwind Girl,” “Rush to the Dead Summer,” and “Reset.” Bai hails from Beijing’s Huairou district and has carried his passion for athletics and music from a young age.
In 2014, Bai started his acting journey with the drama “Back in Time.” His silver screen debut came in 2016 with the youth romance film “Yesterday Once More,” catapulting him to popularity. Bai’s outstanding performance in “Who’s the Murderer” added to his fame.
In addition to his success in the entertainment world, Bai also earned the 72nd spot on the Forbes China Celebrity 100 List in 2019.
19. Chen Xiao:
Chen Xiao is a talented Chinese actor whose journey in the entertainment world began as a child actor. He started his acting journey at 10 with the television screens in the series “Our Class Song.”
Born in Hefei, Anhui, Chen pursued his passion for acting and graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 2009. As a professional actor, he achieved immense popularity through his roles in hit series like “Swordsman,” “Legend of Lu Zhen,” “Romance of the Condor Heroes,” and “Love Journey.” Chen’s outstanding acting talents won him several awards “Most Popular Idol Actor,” “Weibo God,” “Weibo Popularity Award,” and “Most Marketable Young Actor.”
20. Xu Kai:
Xu Kai, also fondly known as Soso is a Chinese actor renowned for his impressive performances in notable series like “Story of Yanxi Palace,” “The Legends,” and “Arsenal Military Academy.” Originally from Shenzen, Guangdong, Xu made a decision to support his family by leaving his education to become a model.
He kicked off a successful modelling career by winning 1st place in the print ads/graphic category at “China’s International Model Contest.” In 2016, Xu entered the entertainment industry and signed a contract with Huanyu Film for the series “Zhaoge.” His popularity soared with his roles in films like “Untouchable Lovers” and “Story of Yanxi Palace.”Beyond his acting, Xu Kai has collaborated with numerous multinational luxury brands, including Disney, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, and more.
We hope you’ve had a great time getting to know these 20 outstanding Chinese actors. These talented folks have not only charmed us with their skills but have also shown us the power of determination. They didn’t let their humble beginnings define their futures and instead, they took charge of their destinies to climb to the top of their game. Cheers to these handsome hunks!