China's biggest star, Fan Bingbing, goes public with her romance with her Empress Of China co-star

BEIJING - China's biggest star, Fan Bingbing, and her The Empress Of China co-star Li Chen have made their online debut as a couple, months after their flirtation on Weibo started generating rumours about their romance.

It is the first time Fan, 33, has gone public with her love life in her 18-year career, said NetEase website.

Li, 36, posted a selfie taken by Fan of the couple, both in white, on social media today, with a simple caption "Us". She then shared his post on her own Weibo page.

Fan, who has topped the Forbes China Celebrity List for three years, is the producer and star of the latest television drama about empress Wu Zetian. Li, who is No.19 on the list, plays a general in the show.

Talk about a romance has stalked the two after they began interacting frequently on Weibo last year, said NetEase. But at the time Fan explained that it was her job as a producer to attract publicity for the show.

Early this year, photos of the couple at a New Year gathering went round on social media.

In February, Li said on Weibo: "It's snowing, it's snowing. If we don't hold up an umbrella and keep going, will we go all the way till we have white hair?"

As if in answer, Fan later wrote: "Loving someone is very simple. It's wanting to say good night after you have said good night. It's snowing in Beijing tonight."

On Valentine's Day, when she was in Shanghai for the taping of a programme, he was seen at the same hotel as her, said NetEase. Two days later, he was spotted leaving through the back exit.

Fan first made a name for herself as Jinsuo the handmaiden in My Fair Princess, the 1998 television phenomenon. She was linked to actors including Wang Xueqi, but denied the rumours.

Love seems to be in the air in the stratosphere of Chinese entertainment. Actor Huang Xiaoming, No.5 on the Forbes list, married actress Angelababy (No.12) this week. Newlywed singer Jay Chou (No.2), is expecting his first child with his wife, model Hannah Quinlivan.