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  • Title
    Animal rights activist and former NBA star
  • Affiliation
    NBA (Retired)

Yao Ming could have returned to China for a quiet retirement. Instead, the 7-foot 6-inch former NBA star has spoken out against various animal abuses—including his country’s illegal ivory trade (China accounts for about 70% of global demand) and the practice of hunting sharks for shark-fin soup. But the impact of his efforts has been far bigger than the headlines he generates. Following Yao’s lead, other famous Chinese are starting to talk openly about the country’s problems—resulting in a more public social debate.