Yang Lan (Chinese: 杨澜; pinyin: Yáng Lán; born March 31, 1968) is a Chinese media proprietor, journalist, and talk show hostess. She is the Cofounder and Chairperson of the Sun Media Group and the Sun Culture Foundation.

In 2013, she was ranked 100 in the 100 World’s Most Powerful Women in Forbes.

Yang Lan was born in 1968 in Beijing. Yang’s mother was an engineer, and her father taught English literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University and sometimes served as the official translator for former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. In 1980–1986, she studied at the High School Affiliated to Beijing Polytechnic University (now called the High School Affiliated to Beijing Institute of Technology), which is the key high school of Haidian District. In 1986–1990, she studied at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and received her bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature.

Just before she graduated, she was offered a position at the China Great Wall Hotel which she declined for Charoen Pokphand of Thailand when they ended cooperation with several local TV stations and turned to cooperated with China Central Television, producing a program called “Zheng Da Variety Show”. They decided to pick a female student with college experience to do moderator and when the director Xin Shaoying came to Beijing Foreign Studies University, Yang Lan was recommended by the school. There were more than 30 students participated in the interview. Xin Shaoying frankly said that she hoped to find a “new face”, a little innocent would be better. Then, the director let each of the students say a few words. Yang Lan briefly introduced herself, and then said, “Why do you want to find a innocent type television hostess? what we lack is capable and experienced professional women!” Afterwards, Yang Lan reflected that the director did not think her looks was particularly outstanding, but she was thoughtful.

Around the end of 1993, when Mr. Dhanin Chearavanont (Chinese: 谢国民), the CEO of Charoen Pokphand then, came to Beijing to have a dinner with the Zheng Da variety show crew members, he asked Yang Lan: ” Are you going to do this forever? Haven’t you thought about development in other aspects? […] Haven’t you thought about studying abroad? ” Yang answered: ” If I leave, what about the show? ” Dhanin Chearavanont said: ” I think a person is more important than a program. ” He encouraged her to study abroad and said that he could afford the school fees.

In January 1998, Yang launched her talk show Yang Lan studio (Chinese: 杨澜工作室), which emulated the kind of in-depth interviews pioneered by Barbara Walters and David Frost. Among her interviewees: George Soros on his role in the Asian crisis; Nicholas Negroponte on media and telecom strategies; and Andrew Grove on Intel’s business in China.

As a signature TV talk show, Yang Lan One-on-One focuses on getting to know leading figures from the fields of international politics, business, society and culture. On this program, Yang Lan profiles the guests’ life stories, career experiences, and personal insights. Its sixteen-year history has made it one of the most highly regarded and well known in-depth talk shows in China. The talk show’s host, Yang Lan, guided by her personal style and unique viewpoint, has over the years conducted interviews with a myriad of international figures and celebrities from around the world. Her guests have included Sophie Marceau, Bill Clinton, Elon Musk, Henry Kissinger, Lee Kuan Yew, Jack Welch, Andrew L. Webber, Tan Dun, Nicole Kidman, Jackie Chan, Kobe Bryant, Hugh Jackman and Michael Phelps.

Yang Lan was formerly married to Zhang Yibin, but they were later divorced. During her New York stay Yang met Bruno Wu. They married in a lavish ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in October 1995. Wu comes from an elite Shanghai family, and his grandfather was China’s ambassador to the League of Nations in Geneva in the 1920s; his grandmother was killed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution when Wu’s parents (and he for a while) were sent to a farm collective for socialist reeducation. With help from François Mitterrand’s wife, Wu studied at the University of Savoie in Chambéry in the French Alps before going to America to earn a master’s degree in international relations at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He was running his own media consulting firm in New York when he met and married Yang.

Yang and Wu returned to China at the end of 1996. He soon set up shop in Hong Kong, and in 1998 was named the chief operating officer of ATV, one of Hong Kong’s two free TV stations. She commuted between Hong Kong and Shanghai and published Enjoy Wind by Seaside (Chinese: 凭海临风) of her essays, travel logs and historical sketches compiled during her time at Columbia. That book had sold 600,000 copies.

Edited from Wikipedia


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