Police in China Detain Canadian Pop Star Kris Wu on Suspicion of Rape

The police in Beijing stated Saturday they’d detained Kris Wu, a preferred Canadian Chinese language singer, on suspicion of rape amid a #MeToo controversy that has set off outrage in China.

The police didn’t present particulars of their investigation into Mr. Wu. But it surely comes a number of weeks after an 18-year-old college scholar in Beijing accused him of attractive younger ladies like herself with the promise of profession alternatives, then pressuring them into having intercourse.

Identified in China as Wu Yifan, Mr. Wu, 30, is probably the most distinguished determine in China to be detained over #MeToo allegations.

He rose to fame as a member of the Korean pop band EXO, then began a profitable solo profession as a mannequin, actor and singer. Although he denied the allegations once they first surfaced, they set off an uproar that led not less than a dozen corporations, together with Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Porsche, to sever ties with the singer.

The Chaoyang District department of the Beijing police stated in an announcement on social media on Saturday evening that it had been wanting into accusations posted on-line that Mr. Wu “repeatedly deceived younger ladies into sexual relations.” It stated that Mr. Wu had been detained whereas the prison investigation continued.

Mr. Wu’s accuser, Du Meizhu, has stated publicly that when she first met Mr. Wu in December final 12 months, she was taken by the singer’s agent to his house in Beijing for work-related discussions. She stated that she was pressured to drink cocktails till she handed out, and later discovered herself in his mattress.

They dated till March, in line with her account of the occasions, when he stopped responding to her calls and messages. She has additionally stated she believed that he focused different younger ladies.

Mr. Wu’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark. Ms. Du couldn’t be reached.

It was not instantly clear if the police had been particularly investigating Ms. Du’s claims. In an announcement in July, the police had launched what gave the impression to be preliminary findings about Ms. Du’s allegations. The police had stated Ms. Du had hyped her story “to reinforce her on-line reputation,” an evaluation that was criticized by her supporters as sufferer shaming.

The outpouring of help for Ms. Du was an indication that the nation’s nascent #MeToo motion continues to develop regardless of the federal government’s strict limits on activism and dissent. After Ms. Du spoke out, her supporters flooded the social media pages of a number of manufacturers, threatening boycotts if they didn’t drop their partnerships with Mr. Wu, a marketing campaign that shortly pressured the businesses to distance themselves from him.

The accusations have triggered a heated debate on points like victim-shaming, consent and abuse of energy within the office — ideas that had not often featured in mainstream discussions earlier than the #MeToo motion went international.

The authorities in China typically discourage ladies from submitting sexual misconduct complaints, and sexual assault or harassment survivors are ceaselessly shamed and even sued for defamation. Censorship and limits on dissent have additionally stymied efforts amongst feminist activists to arrange, whilst trolls are given cowl to spew abuse.

But the high-profile nature of the controversy made Ms. Du’s allegations inconceivable to disregard for Chinese language authorities, who’re at all times looking out for what they deem to be potential sources of social unrest.

The police announcement, posted on the nation’s in style Weibo social media platform, instantly began trending, drawing greater than six million likes.

Lu Pin, a New York-based feminist activist, stated the detention of Mr. Wu was a serious step ahead for the #MeToo motion in China.

“No matter what the motivation of the police could have been, simply the truth that he was detained is big,” Ms. Lu stated.

“For the final three years, various distinguished figures have confronted #MeToo accusations however nothing ever occurred to them,” Ms. Lu stated. “Now with Wu Yifan, #MeToo has lastly taken down somebody with actual energy in China — it has proven that irrespective of how highly effective you might be, rape will not be acceptable.”

The detention of Mr. Wu comes amid a broader authorities crackdown on the leisure trade.

In recent times, Chinese language authorities have moved aggressively to scrub up the industrywide downside of tax evasion and to cap salaries for the nation’s largest film stars. In June, the nation’s web watchdog started a crackdown on what it known as the nation’s “chaotic” on-line superstar fan golf equipment, which the federal government has come to see as an rising supply of volatility in public opinion.

The Folks’s Every day, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Get together, depicted Mr. Wu’s detention as a warning to celebrities that neither fame nor a international citizenship would defend them from the legislation.

“A international nationality will not be a talisman. Regardless of how well-known one is, there isn’t any immunity,” the propaganda outlet wrote. “Keep in mind: The upper the recognition, the extra you should be self-disciplined, the extra in style you might be, the extra you should abide by the legislation.”

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