Annabel Yao, the youngest daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, released her debut single “Backfire” on Monday, but her showbiz debut quickly backfired amid criticism over lack of talent and privileged background. .
The 23-year-old dropped her song days after a self-promotion documentary announced her foray into the entertainment industry. The 17-minute film was released last week by Beijing TH Entertainment Co., the label that signed her, and has been ridiculed and scorned online, with many saying Yao’s showbiz effort was only made possible. only thanks to the wealth of his family.
The documentary casts the budding star as a “rule-breaking princess” and royalty is a common thread in the singer’s publicity materials and her debut single. In a poster that accompanied the track, Yao is pictured sitting with a crown under one foot, while a line in the lyrics says “Such a princess, don’t put makeup on me.”
But Yao insists his wealth hasn’t made his life any easier than others. “I never saw myself as a princess,” she said in the documentary, which shows her preparations for the big debut and touches on aspects of her childhood and family life.
“Like most people my age, I had to study hard to get into a good school,” she added. Yao attended Harvard University and has a degree in computer science.
“I also felt lost after college, but I kept trying different things until I found what I was passionate about,” she continued. Launching her music career was a “special birthday present” she gave herself, Yao wrote on Weibo, a Chinese Twitter-like platform.
The song debuted to a mixed bag of reactions. It has amassed over 130,000 likes since Monday and was trending on Weibo. But it also drew criticism, with many saying the singer didn’t have the vocal cords and movements for the job.
“Her singing and dancing skills are not enough to make her a star,” a used Weibo said.
“Based on your talent, was it possible for you to become an artist without your family background? asked another.
“China is a socialist country ruled by the working class based on an alliance of workers and farmers. There are no princesses,” said a third.
Others, however, expressed their opposition to attempts to discredit Yao because of his family fortune and pointed out that many big names in the entertainment industry rely on strong family support.
Yao is Ren’s daughter from his second marriage, and her step into the spotlight comes at a time when her half-sister and Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou remains under house arrest in Canada in an extradition case in ongoing since 2018. Last week, it was reported that Meng had received several death threats last summer, including being shot in the mail.
In the documentary, Yao weighed in on his relationship with Meng, saying that people love his older sister better.