Rainie Yang Goes To China

Here is the Drama Wiki biography on the person known as Rainie Yang (楊丞琳 / 杨丞琳)

She started when she was 14 and started appearing in Hong Kong movies and commercials. At 15, she auditioned for a girlband to be launched by BMG Records called 4 in Love and passed with flying colors. From then on, she was called “Rainie”. She moved to Taiwan, and pursued her acting career as she lived with her co-band members under one roof. She starred in various dramas starting with the mega blockbuster Meteor Garden where she played a supporting yet pivotal role, the cute Xiao You (Hana Yori Dango’s “Yuki” Chinese counterpart). The rest is history as she proceeded on to be a much-loved leading lady by respectable men and starred in more bankable dramas. Unfortunately, late 2002, for reasons, 4 in Love had to disband. Windie and Sunnie proceeded with their studies and Cloudie pursued to be a stewardess. Rainie was left in the E-circle and now as a solo artist resuming with her career and reaching new heights and levels with a new alternative- as a host. She had discovered her hosting skills with the hosting jobs she did left and right. She did that without wrecking her acting career where she also received many projects. She continued singing by performing on the OSTs of her dramas. Now, Yang Cheng Lin is considered as one of Taiwan’s cutest faces, youth models and an idol. She holds the record as the first Chinese Newcomer to achieve platinum status in her debut album My Intuition Ai Mei.

Yes, but so what?  Nothing much, except a fateful episode on a television program would make Rainie Yang an example of what has been happening to the major Taiwan entertainers.  Rainie Yang may have thought it was harmless to make fun of the mainland Chinese in every way possible.  Then one day she realizes that there is a market of 1.3 billion mainland Chinese consumers, compared to the very stagnant situation in Taiwan.  What does she do?  She makes an abject public apology to the mainland Chinese public for her youthful ignorance and begs for an opportunity to make amends.  Mind you, she is not facing a Chinese government ban.  Instead, she is trying to placate Internet opinion in China.  For example, in The Ten Most Disgusting Chinese Women of 2005, Rainie Yang was ranked Number 5 for what she did in 2003.

Here is a re-cap at MOP of the fateful day of July 12, 2003.  Please note that this was almost three years ago, but the Internet has an enduring and distributed memory.  The program is the variety television show in Taiwan called "I Guess ... I Guess ... I Make a Guess" (我猜我猜我猜猜猜).  During the program, questions are asked and people are supposed to be cute with the answers.  Here, the answers are provided by Rainie Yang.

[in translation]

Q: How many years did Su Wu tended sheep in political exile? 
A: 18 years (note: the correct answer is 19 years)

Q: How many years did the War of Resistance Against Japan last?
A: (hesitation) Eleven years.
(laughter from everyone)
Q: Would you believe that you fought three extra years?
A: It was only eight years?
Q: "Only eight years"?  What kinda attitude is this!  No wonder the Japanese call us the "Sick Men of East Asia"!

Q: How many lion statues are there on the Marco Polo Bridge?
A: (hesitation) How many lion statues are there on the Marco Polo Bridge?
Q: What!  (the questioner acted as if he wanted to kick her and she waves her hands to plea for mercy and then dodges aside) 

Q: Do you know how many Chinese citizens were slaughtered by the Japanese army during the massacre of Nanjing?
A: I don't know.

Q: Can you guess ...?
A: (Lost; silly smile)  I really don't know.  How many?

Q: 300,000.
A: Oh ... (shocked cry)

Q: That's a lot.
A: No.  I was saying that it was only 300,000.

Q: (Acts as if he was about to faint)
A: Don't be surprised.  I thought that it would have been a lot ...

Yang: You are not allowed to stay on the mainland too long!  Do you know that mainland people are such hicks!"


Yang: On the mainland, the people who wear pajamas are the rich people.


Yang; Do you know which is the most laughable song on mainland?
(cross-talk among guests)
Yang: (smile): I think that the most laughable song is China's national ...
(Another person pinched her and interrupted her)


Yang: In my previous life, I must have been a Japanese!  I feel so noble when I walked through the snow wearing a kimono.

Fast forward to May 2006 and Rainie Yang is a spokesperson for an online game in China.

(XAWB)  June 1, 2006.

[in translation]

Taiwan star Rainie Yang, also known as the Lovely Cardinal, is immensely popular in Taiwan and her first album sold more than anyone else's other than Jay Chou.  Rainie Yang plans to expand her career in mainland China, but she must get past a hurdle -- three years ago, she hosted "I Guess ... I Guess ... I Make A Guess" and her ignorance about the Chinese War of Resistance Against Japan and the Nanjing massacre angered the audience.  On the day before yesterday, Rainie Yang was presented in Shanghai as the spokesperson for an Internet game.  But the press conference quickly became an apology session.  This was Rainie Yang's first apology to the the public about her mistake three years ago.  She said: "I did not study history.  I spoke too hastily.  I hope that people can pardon me for my youthful ignorance."

On June 12, 2003, on the Taiwan entertainment program "I Guess ... I Guess ... I Make A Guess," when Wu Zongxian asked Rainie Yang how many years did the War of Resistance Against Japan take, she said, "I don't know."  When informed of the correct answer, she cried in surprise: "Only eight years!"  Her tone of voice was enough to disturb even Wu Zongxian.  Next, when she heard that more than 300,000 Chinese were slaughtered in the Nanjing masacre, she said, "As little as 300,000."  On another program, she said, "In my previous life, I must have been a Japanese!  I feel so noble when I walked through the snow wearing a kimono."  Rainie Yang's Japan-loving ways drew lots of criticisms, with netizens drawing a 10,000-strong petition campaign to boycott her.

On the day before in Shanghai, when a reporter asked her directly about the Internet boycott against her, Rainie Yang's voice began to quiver: "This program was recorded three or four years ago.  It was badly received when it was broadcast in Taiwan.  The variety programs in the Taiwan are improvisational.  I spoke in haste and I said the wrong things.  Actually, it was all because I did not study history well.  It was the fault of me not studying hard ... from now on, I will study hard.  I will not make any more mistakes ... Please give me some time.  I will accumulate experience and receive the counsel of my elders.  My programs now should be better."  When she arrived to this point, the hands that Rainie Yang put on her legs began to quiver and the tears began to roll in her eyes.

When a reporter asked her if she is formally apologizing for her speech and act on this occasion, she said decisively: "Yes.  Of course, I am."  When a reporter asked her if she would make apologies in other cities or venues, Rainie Yang said without hesitation: "If need be, I will do that."  At that point, she repeated: "I am actually a pure Chinese!  Please pardon me!"

Why did she show up to apologize three years after the incident?  Rainie Yang explained: "I did not get on the Internet often before, so I did not really know what was happening with this thing.  But once I found out about this, I thought about how to remedy and make up for it.  I am studying Chinese history very hard right now.  I want to make a solemn apology!"  When Rainie Yang said that, her hands were twisting at her skirt and her face was flushed.  "I was wrong.  Today is my first formal repsonse and official apology.  If anyone should ask me again, I will respond and I will apologize.  I hope that you will all give me a chance to make amends!"

After her arrival in Shanghai on May 29, Rainie Yang realized that she may encounter some very blunt questions.  According to reports, prior to this public apology, Rainie Yang and her manager reviewed the videotape of that program.  Concerning the Internet criticisms, she believes them to be positive pressure.  "Everybody should at least give me a chance to make amends.  It is important to be able to mature."

Related Link: Cultural Wars