It isn’t easy being the daughter of a rich, famous person — especially if that person is Ren Zhengfei.
Frank Sinatra Jr. ran into a similar issue, as he attempted the song stylings of his famous Dad.
That’s not to say Annabel Yao, the youngest daughter of the Huawei founder, has what it takes to be a pop star.
Nevertheless, on Monday she released her first single “Backfire” — but her showbiz debut was quickly mired in controversy, SHINE.cn reported.
The 23-year-old dropped her “pop style” song days after a self-promotional documentary announced her foray into the entertainment industry.
Let’s face it, not every song is going to be a hit, and the Harvard educated Yao is an easy target for having a privileged background.
The 17-minute film was released last week by Beijing TH Entertainment Co., the label that signed her, and has been met with ridicule online with many saying that Yao’s showbiz endeavor has only been made possible because of her family’s wealth, SHINE.cn reported.
The documentary presents the aspiring star as a “rule-breaking princess” and royalty is a common thread in the singer’s publicity materials and her debut single.
In a poster that accompanied the track, Yao is photographed seated with a crown under one foot, while one line in the lyrics says, “Such a princess, don’t make me man up.”
But Yao insists that her wealth hasn’t made her life easier than others.
“I never saw myself as a princess,” she said in the documentary, which shows her preparations ahead of the debut and touches on her childhood, SHINE.cn reported.
“Just like most people my age, I needed to put a lot of effort into studying to get into a good school.”
Yao attended Harvard and has a degree in computer science, SHINE.cn reported.
“I also felt lost after college, but I kept trying different things before I found what I was passionate about.”
The song debuted to mixed reactions. It amassed more than 130,000 likes since Monday. But it also drew criticism, with many saying she lacks voice and moves.
“Her singing and dancing abilities are not enough to make her a star,” said one Weibo user.
“Based on your talent, was it possible for you to become an artist without your family background?” asked another.
Another commented on Yao’s privileged upbringing with a withering assessment: “Can’t sing, can’t dance, but if you have money …”
Others however expressed opposition to attempts to discredit Yao because of her family’s fortune, and pointing out that many big names in entertainment rely on family support.
Yao’s exploits are in stark contrast to Ren’s daughter from his first marriage, Meng Wanzhou, who is the CFO of Huawei.
Meng was arrested in Canada in 2018 on charges of suspected bank fraud and violation of sanctions against Iran.
She is currently fighting extradition to the US and is facing the prospect of years in prison, a development that has been a sore point in US-China relations in recent years.
Two Canadian businessmen are also being held in a Chinese prison on suspected trumped up charges, in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
— with files from RadiiChina, CBC