Why Do People Hate Zhang Ziyi: Understanding the Polarizing Views on Zhang Ziyi

Zhang Ziyi is one of China’s most famous actresses. She has starred in many popular films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Memoirs of a Geisha, and The Grandmaster. However, despite her success, Zhang Ziyi has also faced a lot of hate and criticism over the years. There are several reasons why some people dislike or even hate Zhang Ziyi.

Reasons Why People Hate Zhang Ziyi

One of the main reasons why Zhang Ziyi is controversial is her close association with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government. She has openly supported the CCP and appeared in state-sponsored propaganda films.

Many pro-democracy Chinese citizens dislike Zhang for being a “flower vase” or propaganda tool for the authoritarian regime. She is seen as an apologist and enabler of the CCP’s oppressive policies. Her political alignment and nationalist pandering make her unpopular among liberal Chinese.

Perceived Arrogance and Diva Attitude

Another reason why Zhang Ziyi has haters is her perceived arrogance and diva behavior. Some feel she has an overly high opinion of herself.

There are stories of Zhang being late to film sets, refusing to film certain scenes, and making unreasonable demands. She has developed a reputation for being temperamental and difficult to work with.

This perception of arrogance extends to her public image too. She has made comments that some interpret as proud or insulting. This rubbed people the wrong way and made her unlikeable in their eyes.

Tax Evasion Controversy

In 2013, Zhang was accused of tax evasion by the Chinese authorities. She was charged with using bogus contracts to avoid paying taxes on her earnings. This tax evasion scandal caused a massive backlash against Zhang.

The tax case reinforced the public image of her being manipulative, deceitful, and abusing her celebrity status. Even after reaching a settlement with authorities, the allegations continued to haunt Zhang and damaged her reputation.

Romantic Relationships

Over the years, Zhang Ziyi has been criticized for her relationships with older, wealthy men.

Her alleged affair with billionaire real estate developer Bo Xilai raised eyebrows. Some believe she exchanged romantic favors for gifts and money from powerful men.

Zhang is also rumored to have dated other Chinese government officials and businessmen. Whether true or not, these rumors fuel a perception that Zhang uses her beauty and charm for personal gain.

Acting Skills and Talent

While Zhang Ziyi is an accomplished actress, some criticize her actual talent and skill. Detractors feel she relies more on her looks than ability.

Since she often plays the innocent, fragile beauty in films, people debate whether she has real acting chops. Additionally, her level of fame is seen as disproportionate to her skills by some.

Lack of Feminist Values

Feminists and women’s rights advocates criticize Zhang for not using her platform to promote gender equality and female empowerment.

They argue she plays into sexist stereotypes of submissive Asian women in films for male consumption. Meanwhile, she fails to champion feminist causes or speak out against abuse of power. This makes her unpopular with women who expect more from a leading Chinese actress.

Does Zhang Ziyi Deserve All the Hate?

Despite the many criticisms against her, Zhang Ziyi has also had many defenders over the years who feel the hate goes too far. Here are some counterpoints to consider:

  • She is unfairly targeted due to jealousy over her beauty, fame, and wealth. Many others in China also cultivate relationships with the elite.
  • She is a victim of misogyny, sexist double standards, and unfair judgment of her romantic choices as a female celebrity.
  • Her so-called “arrogance” is confidence that threatens misogynists and people who expect women to be meek.
  • She is just an entertainer doing her job. It may be unfair to expect her to be an activist or feminist role model.
  • Whatever her flaws, the extreme level of hate seems irrational and mob-like at times. The tax case was resolved without serious penalties.
  • She has tried to donate and help causes like poverty and earthquake relief over the years. This demonstrates social consciousness.
  • Many charges of being a CCP pawn or manipulative seductress rely more on gossip than proven facts.

So while Zhang Ziyi is not perfect and has made missteps, she also does not seem to warrant the extreme hatred that gets directed her way on the internet. As China’s most globally successful actress, she was inevitably put on a very high pedestal that would invite scrutiny and attacks.


In summary, Zhang Ziyi attracts significant hate and criticism due to her close ties to the authoritarian Chinese government, arrogant image, alleged romantic opportunism, and limited acting range. While some backlash is understandable, the level of venom she provokes also suggests elements of misogyny, jealousy, and unfair judgment.

Zhang is not perfect, but she also does not deserve to be demonized without nuance or context. As a polarizing figure, she will likely continue igniting both love and hate from Chinese people worldwide. But we should aim for reasoned critique rather than reflexive spite toward her.

FAQ about why people hate Zhang Ziyi

Does Zhang Ziyi support the Chinese Communist Party?

Yes, Zhang has openly supported the CCP government and appeared in propaganda films over the years. She has a very close relationship with the party-state that many pro-democracy Chinese dislike.

What tax evasion scandal was Zhang Ziyi involved in?

In 2013, authorities accused Zhang of using fake contracts and other deceptive means to avoid paying taxes on her earnings. This led to backlash and damaged her reputation.

Is Zhang Ziyi arrogant and rude in real life?

According to some unverified reports, Zhang has acted arrogantly and made unreasonable demands on set. But there is no absolute proof she is rude or arrogant rather than just being a perfectionist.

Why do people say Zhang Ziyi trades romantic favors for money/power?

Zhang is rumored to have dated several older Chinese government officials and businessmen over the years. This created an impression she exchanges beauty and charm for gifts, money or influence.

Does Zhang Ziyi exhibit strong feminist values in her films or public image?

No, feminists argue Zhang plays into sexist Asian stereotypes on screen. She also does not use her platform to promote gender equality or women’s empowerment in China.

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