Don’t be surprised if you bump into Jackie Chan while doing your weekly grocery shopping – he’s just one of the many top-tier celebrities that have chosen to settle down here. And for good reason too; the lack of paparazzi, low taxes are just some of the many reasons for international personalities to emigrate here.
1. Jackie Chan
Arguably Hong Kong’s most famous martial arts star, Chan has been acting since the 1960s, helping him solidify his status as a cultural icon today.
Chan is believed to be a Singapore PR since 1998. He owns several properties in Singapore; back in 2007, he paid $11 million for the former Jinriksha Station located at Neil Road. In 2013, Chan donated six historic houses to the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), which were to be showcased on its new campus.
2. Jet Li
The Beijing-born Li Lianjie made his debut in showbiz as an actor in Shaolin Temple. The former champion martial artist then went on to star in Hollywood films Romeo Must Die, Kiss of the Dragon, The Forbidden Kingdom, among many others. Li surprised his fans when he renounced his American citizenship to take up a Singapore one in 2009. After settling down in a $20 million bungalow here, he then went on to set up a charitable institution named “One Foundation”.
3. Gong Li
Gong shot to stardom after starring in films Red Sorghum and Raise the Red Lantern in the 1990s. She was also recognised for her role in the Hollywood production Memoirs of a Geisha. In 2008, Asian actress Gong Li drew flak after renouncing her China citizenship for a Singaporean one, with many of her former countrymen branding her a ‘traitor’ for leaving. Gong married a Singaporean tobacco tycoon in 1996, but the pair eventually divorced in 2009.
4. Vicki Zhao
Zhao became an overnight Asian superstar back in 1998, thanks to her role as Xiao Yan Zi (小燕子) in TV series My Fair Princess (还珠格格). Over the years, Zhao has acted in many box-office hits, including Shaolin Soccer, Red Cliff, and Painted Skin. In 2008, Zhao married businessman Huang Youlong in Singapore; both of whom are Singapore PRs. Two years later, Zhao chose to give birth to her daughter at Gleneagles Hospital due to the lack of attention from the paparazzi here.
5. Eduardo Saverin
If you’ve not heard of Saverin, here’s a name you’re probably well-acquainted with: Facebook. Brazil-born Saverin met Zuckerberg when they were both studying at Harvard University in 2004, subsequently co-founding Facebook with three other friends. In 2005, Saverin was booted out of the company, with his initial one-third stake watered down to 4 percent (worth about $4 billion). Right now, Saverin serves as an angel investor to several up-and-coming startups such as Jumio (a credit card validation company), ShopSavvy (an e-commerce application) and RedMart (an online grocery platform).
6. Emil Chau
Singer-songwriter Emil Chau (周华健) was the Jay Chou to all 80s kids. His hit song, 朋友, has swept graduation ceremonies across Singapore – there’s not a dry eye in the room when his song gets blasted over the sound system. In 2010, he purchased four apartments at Centennial Suites together with his good friend Jackie Chan at an estimated value of over $10 million.
7. Cecilia Cheung
Cecilia Cheung kickstarted her career in 1998, when her lemon tea commercial caught the attention of Stephen Chow. Chow cast her in King of Comedy, where she held one of the lead roles despite it being her first acting gig. In late 2013, Cheung decided to settle down in Singapore in order for her young sons to be able to lead a “normal life” away from prying eyes of the Hong Kong paparazzi. Cheung also attributed other factors for her move, such as Singapore’s stellar education policy, close proximity to Hong Kong, good air quality, and its “simple” people – with the last comment drawing flak from citizens.
8. Vivian Hsu
Taiwanese-born Hsu first made her music debut as a member of ShaoNuDui (Girl’s Group) at the age of 16, before leaving singing temporarily to explore other options like modelling and acting. Her real breakthrough came only in 1995, when she made her first appearance in Japan. The next year, she dropped her first Japanese solo album. In 2014, Hsu and her Singapore-based businessman husband got married, and the couple have been reportedly residing here.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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