Annabel Yao, an aspiring artist, has released her first song. This is only understood as news when learning that she is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei and one of the richest men in China. The debut of the young woman in the entertainment industry has raised a wave of criticism in the country’s social networks, where doubts about her merits and artistic talent have been widespread.
Its simple, Backfire, was released on January 18. Amid lavish visuals of impeccable technical craftsmanship, Annabel combines English and Mandarin in bland lyrics to show off being “a real princess” and “just getting her manicure done.” The video clip soon became one of the most popular on local platforms such as Weibo or Duoyin but, true to its title, the shot backfired. In all of them, such as YouTube, where it accumulates more than 50,000 views, the majority of votes and comments were negative.
The song was preceded by a publicity racket: a cover in the Chinese edition of Harper’s Bazaar, a photoshoot with a well-known portraitist, and a 17-minute documentary entitled “Exceptional Princess.” “I’ve never seen myself as a princess,” she confessed against all odds in the video. “Like most people my age, I needed to work hard to study and get into a good university.”
Born in 1998, Annabel is the youngest of Ren’s three children. His official biography establishes that, unlike most, he achieved a place at the prestigious American University of Harvard when he was just 17 years old, where he studied Computer Science. Her main passion is ballet, a discipline she has practiced since she was a child and which led her to pass the UK Royal Academy of Dance exam at 15 years old. In 2018 she was one of the twenty young women who participated in the annual edition of Le Bal des Débutantes, a Parisian gala in which the descendants of the world’s elite make their presentation in society.
“After completing my studies I felt lost. I had tried my luck in the world of finance and consulting because it was what people around me do, but gradually I have been discovering myself and the type of person I want to be, ”she continued. Annabel, it was clear to her, wanted to be an artist. Offers were not long in coming: He soon signed with TH Entertainment, one of the best-known record labels, and signed endorsement deals with companies such as the automaker Great Wall Motors. The young woman affirmed a few days ago through her profile on Weibo, a social network similar to Twitter where she accumulates almost 250,000 followers, that her new professional facet was “a gift for herself.”
Annabel also had words in her documentary for recurring – and unfavorable – comparisons to Meng Wanzhou, her older stepsister. She serves as Huawei’s vice president and chief financial officer and since 2018 has been under house arrest in Canada, fighting in court against an extradition order to the US for violating the trade sanctions imposed on Iran. “I often wondered why there were so many negative comments about me on the internet and why everyone seemed to prefer Meng. At first it seemed unfair. But then I realized that everyone has fans and detractors. “
Its artistic premiere has aroused popular indignation and resentment on social media, opening a debate on privilege and decorum. Many have ridiculed Annabel, characterizing her as self-indulgent, shameless, and dishonest; denouncing the false image of improvement offered by his documentary. Pictures, for example, show her gobbling up a salad in the back seat of a car as evidence of her hectic schedule. “The fact that he considers these to be difficulties shows how disconnected he is from reality,” protested a user on Weibo. More than singing, the young princess seems to have given the cante.