Yang Lan: China’s first UNICEF Ambassador

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Yang LanChina’s first UNICEF Ambassador, Yang Lan, discusses her dedication to the growth of civil society.

She’s been called “the Oprah of China”. Forbes magazine named Chinese journalist and media entrepreneur, Yang Lan, one of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

In China, her name is practically synonymous with entertainment. She’s the co-founder of one of the country’s largest private media companies. And she’s committed to creating programming that encourages the continuing growth of Chinese culture and offering an international platform for cultural exchanges. Her signature television show, Yang Lan: One-on-One has become China’s longest-running talk show.

Her social media accounts reach 50 million people a day. Yang Lan says the internet is giving Chinese users a voice.

“Now you see people talking about things like environment issues, women’s rights issues on the internet quite openly, and you see, more and more so, a positive interaction between public policy and people’s opinions,” says Yang Lan.

Yang Lan: China’s first UNICEF Ambassador

Journalist and media entrepreneur, Yang Lan, talks about being China's first UNICEF Ambassador.

In addition, she has served as a cross-cultural ambassador for China, playing an important part in Beijing’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. A dedicated philanthropist, she’s served as a UNICEF Ambassador for China since 2010 and has dedicated her own foundation to the growth of civil society, including equal access to liberal arts education.

“We developed art educational programs for under privileged children,” explains Yang Lan. “We have enabled more than 30,000 children of migrant workers, in Beijing, to have regular music and art classes.”

Recently, CCTV’s May Lee had a chance to sit down with the legendary Yang Lan at the 2015 annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.