Hannah won Jay's heart through his mum

TAIPEI - The way to Jay Chou's heart is through his mother, and Hannah Quinlivan has played all her cards right to become the Mandopop king's bride-to-be.

Her status as the future Mrs Chou was all but confirmed on Monday, when he shared two photos of the couple on Weibo in their official online debut.

According to a new profile on the 21-year-old model on NetEase website, she has been careful in her four-year romance with the 35-year-old singer, gaining the support of his mother and getting her own family not to speak to reporters.

Quinlivan, whose father is Australian and whose mother is Korean-Taiwanese, entered show business around 2008, soon after she appeared in a segment on beautiful high-school girls on Guess, the variety show of Chou's mentor, Jacky Wu, said NetEase.

She was cast as one of the uniformed hotties on Blackie's Teenage Club, but dropped out of the variety show because her family was against it.

She did not give up showbusiness, however, and got a part-time job at Phantaci, a fashion store that counts Chou as an investor, said NetEase. She got to know another investor, a former classmate of Chou's, who introduced her to the star because he found her lovely and pure.

So the two were introduced at a gathering and Chou grew closer to her as he got her to learn the piano, said NetEase.

By January 2011, when Quinlivan was 17, she was friendly enough with him to slip into his party for director Michel Gondry at rapper Jeff Huang's nightclub Primo. Chou did not leave the club with her, but she left in a white car from his company JVR music.

In May that year, she flew to Kuala Lumpur, where he was busy filming The Viral Factor, and spent days shopping with his mother, said NetEase. Although he kept his distance from Quinlivan in public, he described her as his girlfriend within earshot of the crew, said the website.

Since August that year, he has been photographed on holiday with Quinlivan several times in France, Japan and Thailand. His mother always joins them, and for Chinese New Year in 2012, both their mothers holidayed with them in Osaka.

This article was first published on Nov 19, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.