Indian star Aamir Khan, fondly called by the Chinese as "Uncle Khan," visited the country last month and created buzz when he attended this year's Beijing International Film Festival, the Global Times reported.
His latest film, "Dangal," is currently the highest-grossing Indian film in the Chinese mainland, earning 141 million yuan six days since its release.
Though his career started in 1972 as a child actor, Khan became popular in China for his 2009 comedy hit, "3 Idiots." The groundbreaking film was a story of three students who portrayed the hardships endured by Indian engineering students.
Wang Yang (not her real name) shared with the Global Times how he became an avid fan of Uncle Khan.
"He totally became a god to me after I watched 'Truth Alone Triumphs,'" she said, recounting that she was able to discover this project after getting acquainted with Khan through "3 Idiots."
"Truth Alone Triumphs," which first aired in 2012, is a TV talk show hosted by the "Dangal" star. The program tackles different sensitive social issues such as rape, domestic violence and corruption.
Wu Qian (pseudonym) pointed out one definitive reason why she adores Khan.
"All those issues touched on in his works also exist in China, but no Chinese has ever made that type of film. Khan's 'Truth Alone Triumphs' was not censored in India. I can't even imagine what a show like that would look like in China," the 29-year-old fan said.
"At first, I liked Khan because he's handsome, cute and is a versatile actor who aims for perfection. But now I admire him for how he uses the power of being a public figure," another Khan fan nicknamed Taitai told the publication through an email interview. "He knows that countries need more than government efforts to develop. Society needs to have its awareness raised as well. . . . I wish there could be celebrities like him in China."
Uncle Khan's most recent project, "Dangal," proves to be at par with his previous works. Earning massive praises from the Chinese audience, the film based on a true story of an Indian amateur wrestler has garnered a 9.2 rating on popular media review site Douban.
Taitai, who maintains the unofficial Sina Weibo account called Aamir Khan Information Channel, revealed that the number of Khan's fans in China has been steadily increasing through the years.
"Uncle Mi's sincere passion for film and his consistent efforts in increasing social awareness is the reason that he has such a massive fan base," Taitai further said.
Uncle Mi or Mi Shu is another name that fans use to refer to the award-winning actor.