In the also 3 decades, no one has influenced Chinese society more than Yue-Sai Kan
YUE-SAI KAN / 靳羽西
Emmy-Winning Television Host and Producer / Successful Entrepreneur
Fashion Icon / Bestselling Author / Humanitarian
Yue-Sai Kan is an Emmy-winning television host and producer, successful entrepreneur, fashion icon, bestselling author and humanitarian. People magazine called her "the most famous woman in China” and Time magazine proclaimed her "the Queen of the Middle Kingdom."
Yue-Sai was born in Guilin, China and grew up in Hong Kong. Her father Kan Wing-Lin was a revered traditional Chinese painter and calligrapher. In 1966, while studying as a piano major at Brigham Young University in Hawaii, Yue-Sai entered the Narcissus Flower Beauty Pageant sponsored by the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce, became the second runner-up, and as part of her duties traveled around the World. The life-changing experience marked the beginning of her career in fashion and beauty.
In 1972, Yue-Sai moved to New York City and later formed Yue-Sai Kan Productions and created her first major TV production, a weekly series called "Looking East". The program was the first of its kind to introduce Asian cultures and customs to a growing and receptive American audience. The series garnered critical acclaim and won dozens of awards. As described by the New York Times: "Few people are able to bridge the East and West, but Yue-Sai Kan can, and does it with beauty, intelligence and grace." The series stayed on the air for 12 years, the last 2 years on the Discovery Channel. Based on this and other work Yue-Sai is credited as the first TV journalist to connect the East and West.
In 1984, PBS invited Yue-Sai to host the first live broadcast from China on the occasion of the 35th Anniversary of the People's Republic of China. Two years later the television series "One World" produced and hosted by Yue-Sai aired on China’s national television network CCTV, with a weekly viewership of 300 million, giving many Chinese their first glimpse of the outside world. Her broadcast captivated the entire nation and made her a household name. At that time with broadcasts in both China and the USA, Yue-Sai was the most watched woman in the world. The bilingual scripts and videos were used as teaching materials in schools across China and her easy hosting style influenced a generation of TV journalists in China. In the United States, Yue-Sai's other TV credits include the ABC documentary "China Walls and Bridges", which earned her a coveted Emmy Award. "Journey through a Changing China", which was syndicated across the country, was so powerful that it was publicly lauded in the United States Congressional Record, which called Yue-Sai a “citizen ambassador”. The popular series "Mini Dragons" and "Doing Business in Asia", which Yue-Sai produced and hosted, were broadcast on PBS, fed the West's growing hunger for information on the East. A corporate version of the series was created and thousands of copies were sold to corporations and university business schools throughout the World for many years. Yue-Sai has continued to produce a variety of television shows aimed at raising the Chinese consciousness about the latest international lifestyle trends, including segments for the popular TV program "Half of the Sky" and more recently "Yue-Sai's World" and “Yue-Sai’s Expo”. Yue-Sai Kan has filmed in more than 25 countries, created thousands of programs, and been seen all over the globe.
In 1992, Yue-Sai successfully transformed herself from a TV personality to an entrepreneur by creating the Yue-Sai cosmetics brand which became China’s leading cosmetics Company, eventually selling products in more than 800 outlets through 23 regional companies in China's major markets. The company started a revolution by encouraging Chinese women to be proud of their image, and truly began the cosmetics industry in China. More than 90% of the Chinese population today recognizes the brand, which was purchased by L'Oreal in 2004. Forbes reported that Yue-Sai “is changing the face of the Middle Kingdom, one lipstick at a time". Yue-Sai is now the Honorary Vice Chairman of L'Oreal China. In 2008, Yue-Sai created a new East-meets-West lifestyle retail brand, the House of Yue-Sai, to bring style, elegance and inspiration to Chinese consumers, selling a variety of fine home furnishings, bedding, tableware, lighting, decorative accessories and unique gifts, and jewelry. Yue-Sai has also designed and produced a line of Asian female dolls, known as the Yue-Sai WaWa (“doll” in Chinese). Seeing as all dolls in China had blue eyes and blonde hair, Yue-Sai created dolls, each with distinctive Asian features, accessories and educational facts, to help Asian children develop confidence, knowledge and pride in their heritage as well as educate children of all heritages about Asian cultures.
Yue-Sai Kan has written 9 best-selling books in China, making her the first to dispense valuable tips about television production, beauty and etiquette to the modern Chinese. This includes “Yue-Sai’s Guide to Asian Beauty” which provides instructions on basic makeup techniques, which instantly became a must-have handbook for the Chinese Woman. Encouraged by the Chinese Ministry of Culture, she introduced international social standards to China with her book “Etiquette for the Modern Chinese”. Her books “The Chinese Gentleman” and “The Complete Chinese Woman” served as virtual training manuals for volunteers at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. In 2009, Yue-Sai published "Exquisite Spaces, 25 Top Interior Designers of the World", a coffee table book featuring design philosophies and tips from world-class designers, and their works. It was the first time that an interior design book of such magnitude was made available in China. “Life is a Competition” and “99 Ways to Live a Charmed Life” were published in 2013 and 2014 respectively, targeting young Chinese looking for advice in career, relationships and all-round development. Currently, Yue-Sai is working on her 10th book.
Yue-Sai is the first and only living American featured on a government issued Chinese postage stamp which was issued in 2002. In 2005, a new version was published to keep up with her new hairdo.
Throughout her life, Yue-Sai has been deeply involved in charitable work. Her many charitable activities include utilizing her own fund to build schools, libraries and award scholarships to outstanding underprivileged students in high schools and universities in China. In 2002, UNICEF named her, alongside other international leaders and celebrities, as its first and only Global Chinese “Say Yes for Children” ambassador. She is also involved with the Soong Ching Ling Foundation, one of China's biggest charitable organizations committed to improving the health of women and children. Under her chairmanship, the 2010 annual Shanghai Soong Qing Ling Foundation charity event raised over RMB10 million to support 12 hospitals in remote regions of China. To acknowledge her charity work, the Soong Qing Ling Foundation sanctioned the establishment of the China Beauty Charity Fund. Yue-Sai was appointed Ambassador and Chairman of the Governing Committee. The foundation is dedicated to the betterment and advancement of women and children through education, health and cultural programs worldwide. Its US umbrella organization, the Friends of the Beauty Charity Fund was set up in 2012 to connect China and the United States. This entity is qualified as 501 (c) (3) organization with the US Internal Revenue Service and is intended to give US donors a tax deduction for their contributions and will also provide funds to the CBCF, among others. Yue-Sai is also a member of the Committee of 100, which is composed of outstanding Chinese Americans. Since 2006, Yue-Sai has been serving as Chairman of the Invitation Committee of the Shanghai International Film Festival, the largest film festival in Asia and has brought in such stars as Halle Berry, Quincy Jones, Susan Sarandon, Matt Dillon, Daniel Boyle, Adrien Brody, Barry Levinson, Claire Danes, and others. In 2016, Yue-Sai joined the prestigious China Institute as a trustee. Yue-Sai also sits on Prince Albert of Monaco's Philanthropy Round Table.
Since 2011, Yue-Sai Kan has served as the National Director of Miss Universe China (www.missuniversechina.com). Yue-Sai has stated that the three aims of the Pageant during her administration are supporting education and charity, and creating a positive image of Chinese women. The Miss Universe Slogan is “Celebrating Chinese Women”. In her first year as National Director Yue-Sai created a spectacular Pageant in Beijing at the MasterCard Center with a live audience in excess of 6,000 people. The winner of the Pageant (Luo Zilin) went on to capture the 4th runner up position (out of 89 Countries) in the Miss Universe Organization Pageant held in Sao Paolo, Brazil on September 12, 2011. In collaboration with Zeng Ai Charity, Yue-Sai has been using the Final Pageant of Miss Universe China as Shanghai's most glamorous charity ball. Attended by over 700 who's who of China, the charity has raised millions to support orphanages, cleft lip and palate correction surgeries and scholarships for students in China's best music, TV and film schools.
Yue-Sai’s official website is www.yuesaikan.com. Her popular Chinese micro blog is weibo.com/jinyuxi and her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/Yue-Sai-Kan-790911007718941/.