China film mogul, Zhang Jizhong, 72, escorts wife to prenatal exam, stirs debate about 30-year age gap

China film mogul, Zhang Jizhong, 72, escorts wife to prenatal exam, stirs debate about 30-year age gap

A famous film producer in China has accompanied his wife – who is 30 years younger – to a prenatal exam for what will be his fifth child.

Zhang Jizhong, 72, is a Chinese martial arts film mogul, known for his adaptations of famous novels by the legendary writer Jin Yong, such as The Legend of the Condor Heroes and The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.

His wife, Du Xinglin, 42, was once his agent and studied in France, returning to China after completing her PhD.

Despite their huge age gap, the couple have been happily married since March 2017, and have a son and a daughter.

They also co-parent an eight-year-old Eurasian boy named Martin, who often appears in family photos.

Zhang Jizhong, here with one of his children, is excited about the birth of his next child. Photo: Douyin

Martin is Du’s child, and is believed to have been born in France during her previous relationship.

Zhang is also the father of Zhang Yuxin, the founder of Chinese media company, Mandala Media, and the daughter from his first marriage.

The baby on the way will be number five for the mogul, and he is very excited at the prospect.

On April 13, Zhang accompanied his wife to a prenatal check-up, and when he heard the baby’s heartbeat, he became emotional.

“This child is a gift from heaven, a blessing,” said Du.

“With our ageing society, we can all contribute more talented individuals to our country by having more children,” she said.

The couple share their experiences of marital life on Douyin, also engaging in discussions and reviews of Chinese traditional literature. They have 5.4 million followers on the social media platform.

In a recent video, Zhang reflected on their seven-year relationship.

“Because my wife is 30 years younger, there were many doubts from the world, thinking she was after money and I was after beauty. But actually we were attracted to each other and are deeply in love. We share a passion for Chinese traditional culture.”

Another video showed Zhang immediately stopping work when he realised Du was suffering from morning sickness. He massaged her, made warm brown sugar water and gave her fruit to ease the nausea.

The love story with the 30-year age gap has sparked a heated discussion on mainland social media.

All in the family: despite the focus on their age, the couple say they are deeply in love. Photo: Douyin

“When this couple stand together, they look like a grandfather and his granddaughter. Is this kind of love really practical?” one online observer said.

“Zhang is just older, but that does not stop him from being a good partner,” another wrote.

In China, there are many celebrity couples with significant age gaps.

On April 10, Fan Zeng, an 86-year-old Chinese artist announced his coming marriage to a 36-year-old model.

One of Hong Kong’s pop icons, 58-year-old Aaron Kwok Fu-shing, is 22 years older than his wife, Fang Yuan, a mainland model.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong actress Christy Chung, 53, is 12 years older than her husband.



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