- Born on 12 March 1976 in Wuhu, Anhui, Zhao is the second child to Zhao Jiahai (Chinese: 赵家海; pinyin: Zhào Jiāhǎi), an engineer, and Wei Qiying (Chinese: 魏启颖; pinyin: Wèi Qǐyǐng), a primary school teacher.
- She’s known as “China’s show-business Buffett” in the business world aside from being China’s first modern “national idol” to film and television fans.
- Along with her husband, businessman Huang Youlong whom she married in 2008 in Singapore, the couple’s net worth is estimated to be over $1 billion, mostly made up stock from Alibaba Pictures in a deal she struck with close friend and Chinese billionaire Jack Ma in 2014, according to Forbes.
- Successful investments in real estate, a French winery such as Chateau Monlot and St-Emilion Grand Cru (the winery launched the Bordeaux wine brand in the Chinese mass market), and a Singapore jewelry retailer have further boosted her fortune.
- Zhao was a kindergarten teacher at the age of 17 when a film director came into her town looking for extras and her actual debut was in the film Hua Hun, starring Gong Li. After participating in the filming as an extra, Zhao decided she wanted to act, and left her hometown that became start of her career.
- She married her husband, businessman Huang Youlong, in 2008 in Singapore and on April 2010, they had a daughter whom they named April.
- Her big break came in the late 90s with the TV drama “My Fair Princess” where she starred alongside fellow actress Fan BingBing and become the youngest actress to win a Golden Eagle award, the Chinese equivalent to an Emmy Award.
- She also recorded seven Mando-pop albums before 2009, landing in China’s top 10 hits several times.
- She is quite excellent in studying, not only for her straight A student, she even got a master degree in directing in BFA. Her MFA dissertation defense score 99/100, ranking 1 of all the graduates.
- Zhao made her directorial debut in 2013 with the young romance film “So Young” which ended up becoming a box office hit as well as the fifth highest-grossing film in China at the time, earning 141 million RMB in the first week and garnering 350 million RMB in total for the box office. The film won her the Best New Director at 22nd ShangHai Film Critics Award, 29th Annual Golden Rooster Award, The 8th Chinese Young Generation Film Forum, The 9th Chinese American Film Festival. Zhao Wei is also nominated for Best New Director at The 50th Golden Horse Awards.This film So Young is the Opening Film for the 4th New York Chinese Film Festival, New York and 9th Annual Los Angeles Chinese American Film Festival. Zhao win the Best Director Award at the Los Angeles Chinese American Film Festival.
- Zhao, who is a practicing Buddhist, is also a vegetarian, is known for her excellent Chinese calligraphy skills, and believes that the key to maintaining beauty is to live a healthy lifestyle from within.
- In 2005 she was appointed as a spokesperson and ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund and China Youth Concern Committee's "Awareness for Children Affected by AIDS" campaign; she also wrote the song "Still Time for Tomorrow" as the theme song for the campaign.
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