Forget fanmail – young Chinese are finding a new way of paying tribute to their favorite stars: charity

On Weibo, the "Ming Cheng Road" sparked hot discussion and a hunt for the mysterious patron.

I ask myself, “What would you do if you had more time?”
You could have done so much more if only you had time.

Ming Cheng is best known as the handsome and diligent butler of the well-connected Ming family in 1940s Shanghai. He also happens to work for the KMT intelligence agency – and as an undercover operative for the Communist Party of China.

The fictional star of TV drama The Disguiser, a hugely popular spy drama that aired in China last year, Ming Cheng quickly became beloved by viewers as a brave and resourceful patriot. He was a character whose very appeal seemed to spring from the dramatic period in which he resided – until, that is, this spring, when Ming walked out from the screen into the real world.

In May, news began to spread online about the construction of a 1.5-kilometer dirt road in an impoverished, mountainous area of Sichuan Province that was to be a boon for the village, allowing for students to attend school and the local economy to develop. The project in and of itself wasn’t so unusual – what was, was the plaque naming its benefactor. It read, “Donator: Ming Cheng.”

Fans of the show were abuzz – who really donated that road on behalf of Ming Cheng?

I cried when I first saw news of this because Ming Cheng is so close to my heart, and it was incredibly touching to see that a fan chose to do this in his name.   Since then, a few of Wang Kai’s fans have individually donated roads in the names of Xiao Jingyan from Nirvana in Fire, Fang Mengwei from All Quiet in Peking, and a school library in the name of Qi Yong from Educated Youth in his home-province.

More on Global Times’ article on fans of Chris Li Yuchun,  Lu Han, Kris Wu, and TF Boys  doing charity here.

P.S. The caption is a hint to the next Disguiser Discussions post.

3 thoughts on “Forget fanmail – young Chinese are finding a new way of paying tribute to their favorite stars: charity

  1. Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?
    (I’ve been playing that album on repeat for the past two weeks).

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