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

The police in Beijing mentioned Saturday they’d detained Kris Wu, a well-liked 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 pupil in Beijing accused him of engaging younger girls like herself with the promise of profession alternatives, then pressuring them into having intercourse.

Recognized 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 after they first surfaced, they set off an uproar that led a minimum of a dozen firms, together with Bulgari, Louis Vuitton and Porsche, to sever ties with the singer.

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

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

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

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 have been particularly investigating Ms. Du’s claims. In an announcement in July, the police had launched what seemed to be preliminary findings about Ms. Du’s allegations. The police had mentioned Ms. Du had hyped her story “to boost 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 compelled the businesses to distance themselves from him.

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

The authorities in China typically discourage girls 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 prepare, 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 on the lookout for what they deem to be potential sources of social unrest.

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

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

“Regardless of what the motivation of the police could have been, simply the truth that he was detained is large,” Ms. Lu mentioned.

“For the final three years, a quantity of distinguished figures have confronted #MeToo accusations however nothing ever occurred to them,” Ms. Lu mentioned. “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’re, rape just isn’t acceptable.”

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

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

The Individuals’s Day by day, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Social gathering, depicted Mr. Wu’s detention as a warning to celebrities that neither fame nor a international citizenship would protect them from the regulation.

“A international nationality just isn’t a talisman. Irrespective of how well-known one is, there isn’t any immunity,” the propaganda outlet wrote. “Bear in mind: The upper the recognition, the extra you should be self-disciplined, the extra fashionable you’re, the extra you have to abide by the regulation.”

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