THANKS TO YAO’S CAMPAIGN, SUPPORT FOR A SHARK FIN SOUP BAN HAS SKYROCKETED IN CHINA
Back in 2011, NBA Hall of Famer and GOAT of Chinese basketball, Yao Ming, became the face of an awareness campaign on shark fin consumption that has been instrumental in challenging what sceptics thought was an untouchable pillar of Chinese gastronomy — most recent government surveys found shark fin consumption in China has fallen by up to 80% during that period.
Ming then moved on to the ivory trade as well
HAVING CHANGED PERCEPTIONS OF SHARKS FIN SOUP YAO THEN TOOK ON CHINA’S IVORY TRADE
Partnering with anti-wildlife trade organisation WildAid, Yao got the public to pay attention. The traction and publicity Yao brings to causes across television and social media is decidedly influential: Forbes named Yao as China’s most powerful celebrity for the six consecutive years from 2004 to 2009.
And just like he did for shark fin soup, Yao successfully took on China’s ivory trade and used his platform to campaign against elephant poaching — as of January last year, all trade in ivory-made products is now illegal in China.