Chinese actor Li Chen and Angelababy shift from long-term friendship to Romance

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    23rd April 2024 – (Shanghai)  Li Chen, previously linked with top Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, is now rumoured to be romantically involved with Angelababy, who has been his friend for over a decade. Neither party has denied the rumours, fuelling speculation and making headlines across popular search platforms.

    The buzz started the night of 21st April when whispers of their relationship began circulating online. Li Chen reportedly posted a cryptic message, suggesting that a decade-long friendship had blossomed into a profound love. Although he did not mention anyone specifically, the post led many to believe it referred to Angelababy, his co-star in the long-running Chinese variety show “Keep Running.” Both have been regulars on the show, displaying a deep connection both on and off the screen, and have been seen together at numerous social events.

    Li Chen’s breakup with Fan Bingbing nearly five years ago and Angelababy’s divorce from Huang Xiaoming two years prior add layers to the narrative, suggesting that a transition from friendship to romance is not beyond the realm of possibility. As of yesterday, with no public denials from either party, the story has only gained traction. Attempts to reach Angelababy for comment were unsuccessful, and the lack of denial has led to rampant speculation online.

    However, many netizens are sceptical, viewing the rumours as nothing more than a publicity stunt. They point out that there is little interaction between the two outside the public eye, and Li Chen has always regarded Angelababy as a sister. Furthermore, no such post about the transformation of their friendship into love can be found on Li Chen’s social media accounts. Instead, the source of these rumours appears to be a video with a disclaimer stating, “Content is purely fictional and for entertainment only.”

    The timing of the rumours coincides with a noticeable decline in viewership for “Keep Running,” which once enjoyed top ratings but now struggles with a mere 0.3% viewership share. This has led to speculation that the show’s producers are revisiting old tactics to boost ratings by leveraging the popularity of long-standing members.

    Critics argue that using Angelababy’s name in this context is unethical, especially since she has not participated in the latest season of the show. Yet, others see a potential win-win situation: the show could gain much-needed viewership, Angelababy could revive her waning popularity after her recent controversies, and Li Chen could rejuvenate his career post-Fan Bingbing.

    In fact, Angelababy’s recent appearance as a guest at the Hong Kong Film Awards, where she expressed a desire to return to the Hong Kong market, followed by her friendly interactions with fans, suggests a strategic shift to regain her footing in the entertainment industry.