Revealed: Pay cheques of China's leading ladies

A list showing how much Chinese female celebrities get paid for their work in films or television series has been disclosed, according to a report by

In the film sector, Hong Kong-based actress Maggie Cheung topped the list, with a pay cheque of 20 million yuan (S$4.3 million) per film. Cheung, who has not acted in films since 2010, made a transition to the music industry last year, although she flopped in her first public performance at a music festival that same year.

Actress Zhang Ziyi followed, with 12-15 million yuan. Actresses Zhao Wei and Zhou Xun were tied at third place, both charging 11-15 million yuan per film.

On the small screen, actress Sun Li led the race with 870,000 yuan per episode. Sun Li's stardom and pay cheque skyrocketed after she played the role of Zhen Huan in the TV series The Legend Of Zhen Huan in 2012.

Actress Yao Di, whose extramarital affair with actor Wen Zhang shocked China's showbiz scene last year, ranked second at 840,000 yuan per episode. Actress Cecilia Cheung followed at 800,000 yuan.

Actresses Zhou Xun, Zhao Wei and Fan Bingbing all charged 30 million yuan as a whole for their participation in TV series.

Zhou Xun's performance in her latest TV series, Red Sorghum, based on the novel of the same title by Chinese Nobel laureate Mo Yan, was highly praised by the author for her immaculate grasp of the character's inner turmoil.

Fan's latest TV series, The Empress Of China, based on the life of China's first and only female emperor, Wu Zetian, won her both a fat pay cheque and some unwanted cuts, as scenes showing female stars' cleavage were removed by China's state media watchdog.