Movie icon Chow Yun-fat, whose role in the Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon helped propel him into the global spotlight, has been signed on as a spokesman by a mainland-based motorcycle maker. '[Hensim Motorcycle Industry] is paying Chow Yun-fat 10 million yuan [about HK$9.37 million] to 20 million yuan to act as a spokesman for the company under a two-year contract,' Hensim executive Yi Zongliang said. 'The contract calls for Chow to act in television commercials, appear at promotional events, and otherwise promote Hensim cycles.' China, the world's top motorcycle-maker, is increasingly looking to overseas markets to expand sales, and Chongqing-based Hensim hopes to increase exports with Chow's help. 'The major overseas markets for Hensim's motorcycles are in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam and [Myanmar], and Chow's films are popular throughout the region,' Mr Yi said. 'We want to use Chow to enhance our popularity throughout Southeast Asia.' Hensim aims to copy Chow's rise to international stardom, Mr Yi said. 'Chow Yun-fat started out as an actor in Hong Kong, and has caused ripples in Hollywood and throughout the world with his film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,' he said. 'Hensim started out as a small motorcycle maker in Chongqing, and now wants to succeed throughout the global market.' Mr Yi said Chow's commercials would also be used to give a boost to sales within China. An official at parent company Chongqing Loncin Group told Shanghai Daily that the private motorcycle firm planned to pump 40 million yuan into an Asia-wide ad campaign next year. Loncin chairman Tu Jianhua was quoted as saying Chow's first commercial for Hensim would be aired in China early in the new year.