China’s Child Stars and Where They Are Now
China produces some of the most talented actors, singers, and idols in Asia, and most of China’s most popular stars have actually started as a kid. In this article, you’ll get to know where Andy Huang, Andy Yang, Angel Zhao, Hu Xian Xu, Kevin Z, Landy Li, Lareina Song, Leo Wu, Luo Wei, Ni Ni, Olivia Jiang, Rachel Zhang, Robby Huang, and Sabrina Zhuang all started and what they’re doing now.
*Their age in this article will be the age they turn this year (2021)*
Andy Huang 黄星羱
Age: 18 (November 10, 2003)
Education: None available
Major Achievements: won an award with his group H2K in 2016
Representative Work: Meow, Hero’s Dream, The Prince of Tennis, Winter Begonia, Maiden Holmes, Go-Go Squid 2: Dt. Appledog’s Time, Faith Makes Great
Andy Huang as a kid
Andy entered the entertainment industry at the age of 9, and between 2012-2014, he went on Let’s Sing Kids Season 2 and two other singing shows. In 2015, he became a part of the boy group H2K and was on the show Crazy Wheat Card: Season 2, which came out with 6 singles and a show. In 2016, he started his acting career, starring in the movie Meow. He became well known through the drama Hero’s Dream.
My Opinion: I loved him and his character in The Prince of Tennis, his character was so cute! But aside from that I haven’t seen any of his other works.
Andy Yang 杨紫
Age: 29 (November 6, 1992)
Education: Beijing Film Academy (Class of 2010)
Major Achievements: 14th Golden Phoenix Awards Newcomer Award, 26th Huading Awards Best Actress (Modern Drama), 8th ChinaTV Drama Awards Rising Actress Award
Representative Work: Home With Kids, Battle of Changsha, Noble Aspirations, Ode to Joy, Ashes of Love, Go Go Squid!, My Mowgli Boy
Andy Yang as a kid
Andy, better known as Yang Zi, started her acting career in 1999. In 2004, she starred as the main lead in Girl’s Diary and was nominated for the 12th Tongniu (Chinese film child cow) best child actor award. She later gained more attention after starring in the drama Home With Kids. Andy is now one of China’s biggest stars and is one of the Four Dan Actresses of the post 90s generation. Some of her upcoming works you should look out for are The Oath of Love with Sean Xiao, The Psychologists with Jing Bo Ran, Lost You Forever with Yang Yang and more.
My Opinion: I first watched Yang Zi in the Reunion of Home with Kids after 12 years, but I wasn’t much of a fan until I watched Go Go Squid! She was so cute, and she played her character so well! I especially loved her when she was on the show Give Me Five, I really like her tomboy and her girlish side. I find it so cute! I’ve been her fan since then, and I love her even more now!
Angel Zhao 赵今麦
Age: 19 (September 29, 2002)
Education: Central Academy of Drama (Class of 2020)
Major Achievements: 11th China TV Drama Awards New Generation Artist, 7th The Actors of China Award Ceremony Best Actress
Representative Work: Balala the Fairies: The Magic Trial, A Love for Separation, The Wandering Earth, A Little Thing Called First Love, My! Physical Education Teacher, Growing Pain, The Blessed Girl
Angel as a kid
Angel started performing in 2008 at the age of 6 and later made her acting debut in Cannot No Mother in 2012. Angel first gained recognition for her role in the Balala the Fairies series. She later gained more attention internationally from her role in A Little Thing Called First Love. Some of her upcoming works that you should look out for are Growing Pain 2 with Zhang Jia Yi, Yan Ni & Fiction Guo, Reset with Bai Jing Ting, Vicky Chen & Dong Zi Jian and One Week Friend with Lin Yi & Shen Yue.
My Opinion: I first got to know Angel through A Little Thing Called First Love. I didn’t watch the drama but since it was pretty popular, I always saw its clips on social media. I wasn’t really interested, but then later on, during quarantine, I watched it and fell in love. I continued to watch her on The Blessed Girl and A Love for Separation, and I started to love her even more ahahah. I didn’t watch Growing Pain, but I saw her acting in it in a short video on Douyin, and ahhh she was so good!
Hu Xian Xu 胡先煦
Age: 21 (August 17, 2000)
Education: Central Academy of Drama (Class of 2018)
Major Achievements: 7th iQiyi All-Star Carnival Most Promising Drama Actor, UNFPA China Youth Champion, 10th China TV Drama Awards New Generation Artist
Representative Work: A Love for Separation, Yesterday Once More, Old Boy, Never Gone, Hi! Housemate, Hikaru No Go, Hi Brothers
Xian Xu as a kid
As a kid, Hu Xian Xu learned how to host and won various awards in Latin Dance, Kuaiban, Crosstalk and Drumming. In 2009, he went on the show Fei Chang Liu Jia Yi and officially entered the entertainment industry. In the same year, he made his acting debut in the drama Armor Hero. Xian Xu gained recognition from his roles in A Love for Separation, Old Boy, and Hikaru No Go. Some of his upcoming films you should look out for are Bu Jiu Shi Ba He Ma, Ciao with Kara Hui and Flaming Cloud with Yao Chen, Zhou Ye and Zhou Yi Ran.
My Opinion: I Love Hu Xian Xu, he’s my favorite actor, so this is gonna be pretty long, ahahah. He is such a cute person! I got to know him in Hikaru No Go, and I became a huge fan! I loved his acting so much! After Hikaru No Go, I searched more about him, and I watched his child star years stuff, and I can’t help but fall in love with him. He was such a cute and funny child. Go check out his videos as a kid if you’re free. <3
And omg, not only is his acting amazing, his personality is too. He’s super friendly, I think he’s pretty much friends with everyone in the industry, and he’s also super respectful, gentle and kind. He’s gentle around everyone, especially girls.
It was so cute watching his interactions with Landy Li, Wendy Zhang, Ancy Deng and others at award shows and variety shows! He’s so nice to everyone, and everyone is extremely comfortable with him. <3
Kevin Z 郑伟
Age: 21 (December 18, 2000)
Education: Nanjing University of the Arts
Major Achievements: None available at the moment.
Representative Work: The Legend of Chinese Zodiac, Star Elf Blue, ABCD Is Love Do-Bo-Do, Song of the Phoenix, Young Blood, Longest Day in Chang’an, Hi Brothers
Kevin as a kid
At 7, Kevin made his acting debut in Xiao Zhe Huo Xia Qu. He gained recognition from his role in Star Elf Blue and ABCD Is Love Do-Bo-Do and later went on to gain more attention from his role in Young Blood and The Longest Day in Chang’an. Some of his upcoming works you should look out for are Young Blood 2 with Zhou Yu Tong & Steven Zhang and Unified Three Kingdoms with Wang Xue Qi & Chen Zi Han.
My Opinion: I first got to know Kevin Z through Robby Huang‘s Weibo. I’ve only seen him on Hi Brothers, and I really liked his character there. I’m super excited for his upcoming works!
Landy Li 李兰迪
Age: 22 (September 2, 1999)
Education: Central Academy of Drama (Class of 2018)
Major Achievements: 7th iQiyi All-Star Carnival Newcomer Award, 10th China TV Drama Awards New Generation Artist
Representative Work: All About Secrets, Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2, Huckleberry Friends, Never Gone, Adoring, Dreaming Back to Qing Dynasty, Don’t Disturb My Study
Landy as a kid
At 10, Landy starred in the movie Who Did You Lose To and officially entered the entertainment industry. She gained recognition for her role as the main lead in the drama All About Secrets alongside Chen Zhe Yuan and Wu Xin: The Monster Killer 2 alongside Elvis Han, Ian Wang and Mike Angelo. Some of her upcoming dramas you should look out for are Su Ji with Theo Zhu, Daxi Makes a Wish and Jump Into the Snow with Lin Yi.
My Opinion: I first watched Landy in All About Secret, and I thought: dang, this girl is good. After that, I watched the Never Gone Special Episodes, and I shipped her and Hu Xian Xu. I admire their 7 years of friendship so much! I started to like her more and became a fan after seeing her personality on shows. Her new drama Chess Love with Niu Jun Feng came out recently, and although I’ve only watched it till episode 16, I think it’s very, very cute!
Part 2 is coming out soon so stay tuned! Thank you for reading! <3
Credits: I got the pictures online.
Sources: Andy Huang ; Andy Yang  ; Angel Zhao  ; Hu Xian Xu  ; Kevin Z  ; Landy Li  ; and the respective MDL profile pages.
Edited by: Tine (1st editor) & Cookie (2nd editor)