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Top 10 child stars in China  08:54, December 05, 2012

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Child stars are thrown into the limelight at a very early age and therefore quickly lose much of the playtime and fun enjoyed by their peers. Some of them are lucky enough to extend their success into adulthood, whereas others see their fame gradually fade into oblivion and have to bid adieu to the business when they grow up.

China's famous child stars from the early days include now well-established actress Fang Shu, who played Xiaoluobotou in the smash-hit "Living Forever in Burning Flames" in 1964 when she was only six, and director Zhu Xinyun who played the brave Pan Dongzi in the 1974 flick "Red Star" at the still relatively tender age of twelve.

Yet, early stardom doesn't necessarily ensure a smooth career path. Take for example 35-something actor Fang Chao, who before the age of 15 had already starred in nearly 30 films and TV series which co-starred highly-renowned Chinese actresses such as Siqing Gaowa and Pan Hong. The hottest child star in the 1980s, Fang had a hard time getting into film school in order to pursue further studies. He was once even found working as a waiter in a small restaurant for nearly two years. Fang is currently back on screens starring in several minor roles.

Here, has compiled a top ten of the most popular Chinese child stars of the past 20 years:

Top 10: Xu Jiao 徐娇

Date of Birth: Aug. 5, 1997

Xu Jiao, born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, garnered overnight fame after acting as the naughty but lovely son of Chow Ti, a migrant worker played by renowned Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow in the 2008 hit film "CJ7," which Chow also directed. Her comedic performance helped her win the 28th Hong Kong Film Award for Best New Performer in 2009. Xu later played in such films as "Mulan" (2009), "Future X-Cops" (2010), "The Legend Is Born-Ip Man" (2010) and "Starry Starry Night" (2011). In the "Future X-Cops," Xu played Kiki, daughter of a policeman from the future portrayed by Andy Lau. She also lent her voice to "Astro Boy" in 2009.

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