Kris Wu: former EXO member detained in China after rape allegations


The case against Wu, 30, whose Chinese name is Wu Yifan, is still under investigation, police from the Chaoyang District in the Chinese capital said.

The allegations first surfaced last month on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, when a woman posting under the verified handle “Du Meizhu” claimed she was sexually assaulted while a university student. communication from China to Beijing. She said she was 17 at the time of the alleged assault.

The allegations gained popularity after she was interviewed by, a leading news portal.

CNN has contacted representatives for Wu and is still awaiting a response.

Wu, who was born in southern China but is a Canadian citizen, denied the allegations on his personal Weibo account last month. His company said it was pursuing legal action against its accuser, calling the charges “malicious rumors.”

His once very popular social media accounts, including his Weibo page with over 51 million followers, have been deleted following the police statement.

The main law enforcement agency in China, the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee of the ruling Communist Party, commented on Wu’s detention on Saturday, posting on Weibo: “On Chinese soil, it is necessary to respect Chinese laws. We take the facts as the basis and the law as the criterion. “

Wu rose to fame as a member of the popular Chinese-Korean pop group EXO, then as a solo actor after leaving the group in 2014. He starred in several films and posed for brands like Burberry, soon becoming the one of the best brand ambassadors in the country. .

But many of its biggest brand partners quickly distanced themselves as allegations of rape spread.

French fashion house Louis Vuitton, which appointed Wu brand ambassador in 2018, told CNN in July that the company was suspending relations with the artist until the allegations were investigated.

“Louis Vuitton takes the recent accusations concerning Mr. Kris Wu very seriously and as such is suspending its collaboration with the artist until the end of the investigation,” he said in a statement sent to the era.

Italian luxury brand Bulgari, Porsche China and cosmetics brand Kans were among those to completely suspend or sever ties with Wu in July.

The #MeToo movement in China

Although some on Chinese social media came to Wu’s defense after news of his detention was announced, many expressed support for Du Meizhu – as well as their surprise that Wu was detained, pointing to the hardships victims often face. sexual abuse for justice in China.

“I have to say thank you to Du Meizhu,” a Weibo user commented. “I am truly grateful to him for speaking out for women!”

The #MeToo movement that spread around the world in 2017 and 2018 highlighted the systemic issues of sexual assault and lack of accountability for high profile offenders. In many countries, women have used the hashtag to share their own experiences of sexual misconduct or abuse and to demand concrete change.

Outrage as Chinese university tries to silence activist student #MeToo
In China, activists say they have seen some signs of progress – but also a significant decline and pressure to be silent. When the fledgling movement arrived in China in 2018, a slew of social media posts discussing sexual misconduct and #MeToo were censored, and women who came forward said they still faced a resistance at official level.
In 2018, Peking University student Yue Xin received generalized attention after administrators attempted to shut down a petition from her and other students over an alleged rape case, sparking significant outrage.

A woman who brought charges against a prominent state television presenter said online that police asked her to withdraw her complaint because the man in question had “a huge ‘positive influence’ on society.”

And while surveys suggest that sexual assault and harassment is prevalent in China, the number of effective prosecutions is small. Of the country’s 1.4 billion people, only 43,000 were prosecuted for “crimes of violation of women’s personal rights” from 2013 to 2017, according to the Chinese attorney general’s office. These crimes range from trafficking and forced prostitution to rape.

CNN’s Beijing office and Laura He contributed reporting.


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