Chinese actress Yang Mi and Hong Kong actor Hawick Lau Hoi-wai have announced their divorce, ending their marriage that was approaching five years.

A statement released by Chinese entertainment and media company Jiaxing Media on Saturday night said that both parties had signed the divorce papers, and have separated amicably.

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Yang, 32, and Lau, 44, have a four-year-old daughter, whom they nicknamed Xiao Nuo Mi or “Little Glutinous Rice”.

The statement read: “Although the two may no longer be living together as husband and wife, they will act as family members from now on to care for and raise their child. As friends, they also sincerely wish each other the best for the future.”

Yang and Lau met when filming TV drama Ru Yi in 2011, and revealed their relationship on Weibo the following year. Their on-screen and real-life romance was one of the most-followed celebrity relationships.

Yang and Lau married during a celebrity-studded reception in Bali in January 2014, which reportedly cost 15 million yuan (US$2.17 million). Their daughter Xiao Mi was born in June that year.

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However, scarce interaction between the couple on social media prompted much speculation that they would break up. Rumours that Lau had an affair with another Chinese actress in 2016 added to the gloomy picture for the golden couple.

The couple had denied speculation that they had divorced two years ago, but were not releasing the news to the public.

Yang became enormously popular after the release of her 2011 historical television costume drama Palace.

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She was much more successful professionally than her husband, which, some insiders suggest, was among the reasons for their split.

In 2017, Yang was ranked third on Forbes’ China Celebrity List with 200 million yuan, dwarfing Lau’s reported earnings of 75 million yuan.

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