Han Han makes Time magazine's top 100 list

08:55, April 07, 2010      

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Han Han, a Chinese professional rally driver, best-selling author and China's most popular blogger, has been nominated as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine.

On April 3, Time released the candidates for its annual "World's Most Influential People in 2010" list. Han was on the list as well as Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga.

Every year, Time selects hundreds of people around the world, including the world's greatest leaders, artists, innovators and icons, and encourages its readers to vote for the year's list of the 100 most influential people. The weekly news magazine, which introduced Han as an author and a race car driver, said he was nominated because of his first novel Triple Gate.

"Han's first novel, based on his experience as a high school dropout in Shanghai, became a best seller in China and sparked a debate about the quality of the country's rigid education system," Time said on its voting page.

"An avid rally car driver, he writes a mega-popular blog that pokes fun at prominent cultural figures and incompetent officials," Time said.

By Tuesday night, Han had received 45,325 votes, making him eighth among 200 candidates, much higher than the other Chinese candidates, such as Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai.

The top candidate was temporarily Lady Gaga, with 187,822 votes.

The online voting will be closed on May 1.

Han's fans are excited about his inclusion in the list, but some people question his nomination. Some said that Han's influence does not extend beyond China's border and he cannot have an effect on global trends in art and entertainment.

While his supporters and detractors engaged in a heated discussion, Han himself has been low-key about his nomination.

"It (the nomination) has nothing to do with me. I write books and blogs to express my opinions. I've never thought of changing other people or the world," he was quoted by Qilu Evening News as saying.

According to the report, Han even said: "Time is only a magazine. Why do you take it so seriously?"

Han could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, but his fans take his nomination seriously. In Han's Baidu Post Bar, an online club set up by his supporters, a post that calls people to vote for Han in the Time magazine poll has been placed at the top.

"My English is not good. But here is a picture direction on how to vote. Hope it helps people like me," it said.

Lu Jinbo, a Shanghai-based publisher who has worked with Han on his books, was quoted by the Beijing Times as saying he was happy to learn the news.

"Han is a young guy who dares to speak out. He cares about the people and the truth, which is quite rare among the post-80s writers (writers who came of age after the 1980s). He is not associated with any organizations," Lu said.

However, others cast doubt on the writer's fame.

"Since when does Han have worldwide influence? It's too big a compliment for him," a netizen said.

"Time is really humorous. How can Han's works and personality lead the world's arts and entertainment trends?" another netizen said.

Wuyuesanren, a Beijing-based critic, said Han's nomination shows people really care about China, "because Han is famous for his sharp observation and unmodified comments on social events", he said.

He praised Time's keen observations on Chinese society for involving Han in its 100 list.

"It shows China's importance in the world. The world is looking at China not only from the political leaders' perspectives, but also from people like Han, a literary person who cares about social events."

Source:China Daily


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