30 Most Popular Chinese Actors on MDL: See You in 2022! (Part 1)


A while ago, an MDL friend and fellow writer had this great plan to write an article listing MDLers’ top 30 favorite Chinese actors/actresses and their upcoming dramas. When I heard about it, I was ecstatic, because I always want to know about upcoming dramas from the Chinese actors I like. Sadly, my friend left this site, so the plan was discarded. So here I am, taking over the big idea! Because as someone who loves to watch new dramas, and most of them are Chinese ones, I always find time to check out upcoming Cdramas.

Now, bear with me as 30 is a big number. Therefore, I divided this article into 3 parts, each part covering 10 actors. This part contains Chinese actors number 21 to 30 of the “most popular” list. I compiled this list based on the likes/hearts given by fellow MDLers, as you can see below the respective actor’s name. So, this is not my personal list of favorites. Part 2 will contain Chinese actors number 11 to 20, and Part 3 Chinese actors number 1 to 10.


Since I don’t want this article to be too long, I listed the dramas in which the actors are the first Male Leads, with some exemptions. The actors also have upcoming dramas I did not list, because there is no information found on MDL or Chinese entertainment news sources. All names are written in Pinyin with their English names in parentheses, in case you are more familiar with the latter, followed by their Hanzi names. The rank, likes/hearts, and drama information are from data taken on November 15, 2021. Any discrepancy happened due to changes after the article was submitted for editing.

Let’s begin with the countdown!

#30 – Wei Zhe Ming (Miles Wei) 魏哲鸣

♡ 1,275+
My Marvellous Fable  |  Genres: Adventure, Romance, Fantasy  |  Episode: 24  |  Network: MangoTV  |  Trailer
This drama, wrapped filming last September, is planned for 24 episodes. It tells the story of best-selling author Wang Pu Tao (Wang Fei Fei) and book editor Feng Tian Lan (Wei Zhe Ming) who embark into a fantasy journey within four unique fables. Each story is a metaphor of a psychological condition in urban young people’s life.
I hope they don’t replace the artistic poster that depicts each adventure setting!
If The Voice Has Memory  |  Genres: Romance, Youth, Drama   |  Episode: 24  |
Network: MangoTV
This drama should be aired in October as per MangoTV. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait until 2022. It tells a story about rookie voice actress Yu Lu Xi (Pan Mei Ye) who works hard to achieve her dream. Her boss, Lin Nan (Wei Zhe Ming), has a hidden identity as Mai Da, a famous voice actor.
Meet Me in Your Sound   |  Genres: Friendship, Music, Historical, Comedy, Romance  |  Episode: 24  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: iQiyi  |  Special Trailer
This is another drama that is supposedly aired in October on iQiyi. Wei Zhe Ming played as young master Yun Mu, who recruits musicians, one of them is Su Ruo Fei (Xu Jia Qi/Kiky Xu).
This drama has multiple main characters who form multiple couples. Besides Wei Zhe Ming, I’m also looking forward to seeing Wu Xi Ze/Caesar Wu, who always looks damn fine in costume dramas, paired with Lu Zhao Hua.

#29 – Gao Wei Guang (Vengo Gao) 高伟光

♡ 1,295+
The Shadow  |  Genres: Thriller, Historical, Romance, Fantasy  |  Episode: 24  |  Duration: 45 min  | 
Network: Tencent
Gao Wei Guang played as Shen Zhi Heng, a handsome hundred years old vampire who looks 28. He was almost assassinated by a group of masked soldiers and was saved by the blind girl Mi Lan (Ouyang Nana) and her friend, Situ Wei Lian (Winwin/Dong Si Chen). 
They started filming this drama in October. Being fantasy, let’s hope NRTA doesn’t mess up too much with the censorship!
The Outsider  |  Genre: Romance  |  Episode: 40  |  Network: Youku  |  Trailer
Surprisingly, this drama has not aired yet, although the trailer was out last spring.
Gao Wei Guang is the Male Lead, Wang Ju An. The Female Lead, Su Mo, is played by Kitty Zhang/Zhang Yu Qi
I read the reviews on the novel 误入浮华 (literally means “stray into the glitz”). This is not a fluffy romance. If the drama stays true to the novel, this is a mature romance with not-so-perfect protagonists.
Secret Service 8   Genre: Action, Military, Romance, Drama  |  Episode: 36  |  Duration: 45 min  |  
Network: Tencent
This drama started filming in November, so not much info nor an official poster. The Female Lead, Ning Meng (Hu Bing Qing), was called to join the army together with her friends. After being honed by Captain Qin Guan (Gao Wei Guang) and other special service officers, they entered the “Special Service Eighth Group”. In the subsequent dangerous missions, Qin Guan and Ning Meng fell in love.

#28 – Zheng Ye Cheng 郑业成

♡ 1,302+
Zhu Qing Hao  |  Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance  |  Episode: 24  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: iQiyi
There is no English title for this drama yet. Zhu Qing Hao (祝卿好) means “good wishes”. Zheng Ye Cheng played as Shen Yan, an Embroidered Uniform Guard, whom the Female Lead, Princess Chang Le, played by Yuan Bing Yan/Crystal Yuan, falls head over heels with. Chang Le is an ancient female version of a modern domineering male CEO!  
An Eternal Thought  |  Genres: Historical, Romance, Wuxia, Fantasy  |  Episode: 60  |   Network: Youku
This drama tells the story of Bai Xiao Chun, played by Zheng Ye Cheng, a free-spirited young man, who enters a martial arts sect, gains friends, and becomes a hero with the help of his team. Since this is a man’s long time adventure, which is similar to Ever Night (2018) or Douluo Continent (2021)no wonder it’s planned for 60 episodes!

#27 – Zhao Yi Qin 赵弈钦

♡ 1,344+
The Wanderers  |  Genres: School, Youth, Sci-Fi  |  Episode: 12
Zhao Yi Qin played as Ye Wen, the second Male Lead, along with Gu He (Fei Qi Ming). Both are high school students who find out that their school is built on a space station. When the earth is caught in crises, they work together with teachers and other students to solve the mystery caused by the aliens.

#26 – Zhang Xin Cheng (Steven Zhang) 张新成

♡ 1,372+
The Abyss  |  Genres: Action, Friendship, Mystery, Psychological, Crime  |  Episode: 30  |  Network: MangoTV
This is an adaptation of BL novel 默读 (Mo Du, English translation: Silent Reading) by popular Chinese novelist Priest. Zhang Xin Cheng lost weight filming this drama to fit the role of Fei Du, a criminal psychologist who has a knack for seeing murder from the criminal’s point of view. He works together with Luo Wen Zhou (Fu Xin Bo), a clever and sharp-tongued police officer.
The Corridor Pavilion  |  Genres: Thriller, Mystery  |  Episode: 12  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: Youku
The drama tells the story of Female Lead Jiang Yuan Xing (Deng Jia Jia), who was severely burned and disfigured after a fire that also killed her boyfriend. She pretended to commit suicide and had plastic surgery. Later, she comes back to investigate the murder.
I have searched what role Zhang Xin Cheng played here, besides a character named Cheng Cheng, but I couldn’t find anything. 
The Heart of Genius  |  Genres: Romance, Supernatural  |  Episode: 36  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: iQiyi
This drama wrapped up filming in October. It tells of the Female Lead Lin Zhao Xi (Zhang Zi Feng), who uses time travel to go back in time so she can win math competitions to fund her father’s medical treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease. Her father, Lin Zhao Sheng (Lei Jia Yin), is a math genius, but left his career to take care of Zhao Xi.
Zhang Xin Cheng played Pei Zhi, also a math genius and Zhao Xi’s class mate whom she has a crush on.

#25 – Li Xian  李现

♡ 1,412+
A Love Never Lost  |  Genres: Action, Friendship, Historical, Youth, Drama |  Episode: 44  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: DragonTV, iQiyi  |  Trailer
This drama is supposed to be aired this year. Li Xian played Liang Xiang, a young man who came from a noble family. He meets other Chinese progressive youth while studying in Japan. After returning from school in Japan, he faces the crisis of the declining Qing dynasty imperial court and various intrigues. The drama depicts the experience of Liang Xiang and his friends in building revolutionary China.

#24 – Zhu Yi Long  朱一龙 

♡ 1,423+
The Rhapsody of a Summer Dream   |  Genres: Music, Romance  |  Episode: 50  |  Duration: 45 min  |   Network: HunanTV
I didn’t find any upcoming drama in which Zhu Yi Long is the main Male Lead, so I will discuss this one.
Zhu Yi Long played the Second Male Lead, Ke Ze, who is the Female Lead’s first love. The story follows violinist genius Pei Shi (Go Joon Hee) who lost both of her parents at a young age and lives to seek revenge. 
This drama was produced in 2016 and has suffered from the Hallyu ban. But there have been a few Chinese dramas and movies with Korean actors that were aired this year, so let’s give this one hope.

#23 – Huang Zi Tao (Z. Tao) 黄子韬

♡ 1,517+
Begin Again  |  Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy  |  Episode: 32  |  Duration: 45 min  |  
Network: Tencent
This drama wrapped up filming last October. It talks about the Female Lead, Qian Wei (Song Zu Er/Lareina Song), a paralegal who is at odds with her boss, lawyer Lu Xun, played by Huang Zi Tao. Lu Xun seems hold a grudge against her since their law school days.
One day, Qian Wei gets into an accident and falls into a coma. She travels back to their college days and makes amends with Lu Xun.
New Vanity Fair  |  Genres: Life, Drama
Zi Tao played  Song Yang, a young popular celebrity who undergoes Ding Ke Mang’s guidance. Ding Ke Mang (Wu Gang) is a talented and reputable theater actor. Song Yang learned to overcome his impulsive nature and withstand the temptation of popularity, and gained understanding and respect toward the art of performing. You can also see Wu Gang in the top drama Joy of Life (2019) as Director Chen Ping Ping.

#22 – Lin Yi 林一

♡ 1,534+
Hu Tong   |  Genres: Romance, Life, Drama, Family  |  Episode: 40  |  Duration: 45 min
The word hu tong (胡同) literally means a type of narrow street or alley in northern Chinese cities, especially Beijing.
The focus of this drama will be the metamorphosis of a residents’ committee of hu tong from the point of view of women from three generations: 50s, 80s, & 21st Century.
Lin Yi played Ouyang Hui, Lin Yue’s love interest. Lin Yue (Guan Xiao Tong) is the granddaughter of Tian Zao, the leader of the resident’s committee. See about Tian Zao in the next actor’s part.
Memory of Encaustic Tile   |  Genres: Romance, Drama  |  Episode: 36  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: Youku   Trailer
In this drama, Lin Yi played  Zheng Su Nian, one of five youths who grew up together in the Liuli Hu Tong neighborhood. He later becomes a conservator-restorer to preserve cultural artifacts. He also reunites with Shao Xue (Yukee Chen), his childhood friend whom he has feelings for.

#21 – Hou Ming Hao (Neo Hou) 侯明昊

♡ 1,771+
Hu Tong   |  Genres: Romance, Life, Drama, Family  |  Episode: 40  |  Duration: 45 min
Hou Ming Hao also appeared in the drama I discussed above. His character, Tie Dan, is a soldier from the Republican Era, and will become the husband of Tian Zao (Zhao Lu Si). Tian Zao becomes a leader of the resident’s committee of the hu tong where they live, to serve the neighborhood from the early days of the liberation to the present.  
Back From the Brink  |  Genres: Historical, Romance, Wuxia, Fantasy  |  Episode: 40  |  Duration: 45 min  |  Network: Youku
Hou Ming Hao played the ancient dragon Tian Yao. He was powerless as he was dismembered by his previous lover until he met Yan Hui (Zhou Ye). She was expelled from her sect where she had been undergoing cultivation to become an immortal. They embark on a journey to retrieve all the dragon body parts, and resolve the various mysteries that have been troubling the cultivation world.
The Monkey King 3  |  Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy  |  Episode: 36  |  
Duration: 45 min
The Monkey King 3 is a drama version of the C-movie under the same title, The Monkey King 3 (2018). However, the plot is different.
Hou Ming Hao played Jiang Liu Er/Tang Seng, who embarks on a thrilling journey with The Monkey King, Sun Wu Kong (Owodog Zhuang), in order to find and save a mysterious woman (Bai Lu) in his dream.
This drama was filmed back in 2018. It was rejected by NRTA, so it was re-edited and submitted back for review. Let’s hope we can finally watch it in 2022!


Because of the time needed for editing this article, by the time it’s published, there are maybe a few dramas airing during the rest of 2021. In fact, I hope so! If not, we will be overwhelmed with so many Cdramas for the next year. I’m not sure if that is good news or not, lol! I just changed the title part from “their upcoming dramas to “see you in 2022!” because I’m tired of waiting, so I assume they should be aired by next year. You’re probably experiencing it right now, the long and exhausting wait for The Oath of Love!

I watched 9 out of 10 actors above in their previous dramas, so I may check out all dramas above. However, by reading the synopsis/comments/novel/novel reviews, or watching the trailers, the dramas I’ll definitely watch are:

  • My Marvelous Fable. The trailer is fantastic, it doesn’t look like a C-drama! Let’s hope the fantasy parts are not edited too much by NRTA.
  •  If The Voice Has Memory. I like the actress since watching her in Cross Fire (2020), Forever Love (2020), and Miss the Dragon (2021). It’s about time for her to shine as the main Female Lead!
  • Meet Me in Your Sound. I’ll watch for the cast. The special trailer looks fun, too!
  • The Shadow. Vampire in Republican Era, dark but enchanting. Sign me up! Caveat: Again, NRTA censorship.
  • An Eternal Thought. I love Ever Night, Douluo Continent, and every adventurous journey full of martial arts action. Also, it seems the Male Lead  is a fun character to watch.
  • Begin Again. I actually read the novel because of the comments on the drama page. Love it!

That’s all for now, everyone! If you don’t see your favorite actors on the list, who knows, they may be in Part 2 or 3! I sincerely thank every MDLer who added the info I used on the plots, original works, production, trailers, etc., on the respective drama’s page. Let everyone who is a fan of the above actors hope that all dramas mentioned will be aired in 2022! Thank you for reading and happy watching!

Who is your favorite Chinese actor in this list?

Which C-drama on the list will you watch?

Acknowledgement and creditsThank you to the editors who edited this article. I do not own any of the images; credits go to their respective owners. The drama and character images are from official posters found on MDL, Weibo, Douban, Sohu, and other Chinese entertainment news sources.

Edited by: devitto (1st editor)

z. tao
vengo gao
miles wei
huang zi tao
wei zhe ming
zhu yi long
neo hou
hou ming hao
lin yi
steven zhang
chinese actors
gao wei guang
zheng ye cheng
zhao yi qin
zhang xin cheng
li xian

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