Yue-Sai Kan: Chinese visionary

Full Frame

Yue-Sai Kan Chinese-American Yue-Sai Kan talks about her remarkable cross-cultural life.

The American magazine People calls her “the most famous woman in China” while Time magazine proclaimed her “the Queen of the Middle Kingdom.”

Chinese-American Yue-Sai Kan is an award-winning television host and producer, fashion icon, best-selling author, humanitarian, and successful entrepreneur. She’s been a figure in both Chinese and American media for decades. She produced and hosted the Chinese series One World, making her the first American to host a TV show in China. That made her a household name in the country. The Emmy-winning television host offered what she believes is the key to conducting compelling interviews.

“You have to know them well enough to be able to ask such questions,” explained Kan. “I think the more personal it is, the better it is. You find out more about that person.”

Yue-Sai Kan: Chinese visionary

Yue-Sai Kan: Chinese visionary

Chinese-American Yue-Sai Kan is an award-winning television host and producer, cosmetics entrepreneur and humanitarian. She talks about her remarkable cross-cultural life.


Always a visionary, she later launched her own cosmetics brand, the first foreign-owned cosmetics company in China. It soon became the leading cosmetics company in the country.

In 2001, UNICEF named her its first and only Chinese-American “Say Yes” Ambassador for Children. She’s also dedicated to several Chinese non-profit organizations, which are committed to the betterment and advancement of women and children. And while the idea of philanthropy is a relatively new one in China, Kan said it’s quickly gaining momentum.

“They are beginning to be giving,” said Kan. “They’re beginning to understand the value of giving. I think that this is a very good beginning and I find the Chinese really, quite generous.”

Kan has also launched her own initiative to build schools, libraries and award scholarships to outstanding underprivileged students.

Yue-Sai Kan joined Mike Walter in our New York studio to share more about her remarkable cross-cultural life.

  • Mike, I wanted to chime in and say that you are doing a really good job with full frame, I only hope that you will continue to take such a personal type of standard approach to interviews as you did in this one and others for a very long time to come. You are such a refreshing change in comparison to American TV. Nurture your genuineness. That said I would like to pass something on to you and CCTV concerning the major challenges you and Yue-Sai were discussing as it pertains to the ignorance of each others cultures between China and the USA. I propose that you and CCTV take on this creative challenge that I am proposing. The challenge is quite simple in its creative infancy and early thought form and involves simply producing a new show, a show along the lines of that of reality TV of sorts. First, you would want to interview a large group of couples, specifically couples who make up Chinese-American relations, and whom are perhaps married to each other or on their way to getting married. From these interviews you would want to match those couples to a set of, “requirements for success” and in the end come out with a few strong couples whom would make up the show. Perhaps you have one couple who is made up of an American male, and a Chinese female, and on the flip side (but likely difficult to find) you might have another couple who are made up of an American female and a Chinese male. Then you might have the first couples show take place in the USA where as the second couple might take place in China. And from this baseline you would simply document each of these couples journeys and lives as they grow forward through the various challenges that they shall face in their newly found lives together and within their new found living spaces and conditions. You see, Yue-Sai nailed it when she said that she wished more Americans could physically experience China and more Chinese could physically experience America. And well, we know with time and more opening up of the democratic ways and the peoples minds that this indeed will begin to take place more and more in good time. But what better way than to begin to kick off such a surge into each nation beginning to physically experience each others nation than to spark it with such a creative program as I have shared with you here? Heck, just in thinking a short while about this I can already see how it would be quite easy to find funding to do such a show via each nations governments and travel industries to start. Heck I would even go so far to say that I’d be willing to help produce such a show if you and CCTV showed some interest. Right off the bat I would of course want to produce the American couple side of the show where as a Chinese creative director could produce of the couple based in China. Or perhaps even, visa versa! Now that would be interesting huh? hahaa.

    Either way, I think that both the USA and China are unknowingly starving to see a show like this produced. A show that seemingly could in combination of being produced in both languages also run in with parallel experiences between the two couples as they encounter similar experiences yet from separate nations. Such a show would definitely begin to build the bridge you are looking for, and at the same time speed up the over all understanding of each others cultures, and would more so than ever increase bilateral travel between the far east, and the left of west. The concept plays to the whole duality of our lives here on earth, and yet meshes them together as if we were neighbors. And in a the times that we find ourselves living in today, we really are neighbors. Let’s begin to take on this challenge that awaits us, the time is ripe for east to meet west and west to meet east. Or perhaps you may know someone from the east who might work with me on producing such a show as this if you or CCTV are not interested.

    Love, Light and Power,

    Scott Bruno