Li Chengpeng (Australia)

Li Chengpeng is a gutsy and provocative writer who regularly challenges authority. Working as a sports commentator in the 1990s, Li investigated corruption, culminating in the book Chinese Football: The Inside Story that brought down the wrath of angry trainers, “patriotic readers” and government censors.

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake was a turning point in his career. Li moved from sports reporting to politics and society. One of China’s most prominent bloggers, he had over 7m followers on Weibo (Chinese twitter) before his accounts were suspended. In 2011 Li stood for public office in Chengdu as an independent candidate. Although his election campaign was never allowed to get under way, Li gained new credibility as a man who backs up his words with actions. Li is a regular guest speaker at international conferences and recently completed a Harvard University Fellowship at the Ash Centre for Democratic Governance. His collection of essays is, Everybody in the World Knows.