Canadian K-Pop Star Arrested by Beijing Police on Suspicion of Rape

Rapper and K-pop artist Kris Wu, also known by his Chinese name Wu Yifan, is in detention pending an ongoing investigation.
By Kay Lee and An Ke
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Canadian K-Pop Star Arrested by Beijing Police on Suspicion of Rape Rapper and K-pop performing artist Kris Wu, also known as Wu Yifan, is shown in an undated photo.
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Canadian rapper and former K-pop star Kris Wu is arrested by Beijing police for the alleged rape of a minor, Chinese police said in a recent announcement.

"We have arrested Wu **fan (male, age 30, Canadian national) on suspicion of rape after seen online reports that he repeatedly tricked young females into having sex, and other related situations," the Chaoyang district branch of the Beijing police department said in a July 31 statement on its official Weibo account.

"The suspect is in detention, and further investigation is under way," it said.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s official newspaper, the People's Daily, said foreign citizenship didn't confer immunity to prosecution.

"Whoever breaks the law will be punished by law," the paper said in a recent op-ed piece. "Remember: the greater the degree of celebrity, and more popular someone is, the more self-disciplined and law-abiding they need to be."

The Central Politics and Legal Affairs Committee responded on Weibo that Chinese laws must be abided by on Chinese land.

State-run media said the arrested man was Kris Wu, whose Chinese name is Wu Yifan.

Several brands have already pulled out of sponsorship deals with Wu, whose arrest came after several young women came forward to add their own allegations.

The sister of Wu's main accuser Du Meizhu retweeted the police announcement, adding the words: "Our efforts haven't been in vain ... all of the injustice we have suffered will be channeled into motivation."

'A victory for women's rights'

Chinese feminist Lü Pin said in a commentary on that Wu's arrest was "a surprise and also a victory" for women's rights in China.

"Maybe he won't wind up getting convicted and sentenced, but it's clear to everyone that Wu won't be getting back on his pedestal," the group wrote.

"Everyone is talking about it ... [meaning that] the impact of the Chinese #MeToo movement has reached unprecedented levels," the post said. "This is far more than just a victory for a few women or girls."

But it said the arrest was far from being a total victory.

"The response of the law to women's rights is still very limited and unpredictable," Lü wrote, adding that the greatest impact of the Chinese #MeToo movement had been on women and girls, who had educated themselves and connected with a wider community as a result.

"Celebrating this moment has nothing to do with anticipating a bright future," she said. "There is no certainty that the next case will be handled fairly. Many victims still have no voice, many social media accounts continue to disappear, and feminism is still seen as an oppositional force."

"There is less and less room for debate or action, and I have constantly been asking myself lately how the movement can even continue," Lü wrote. "The fall of Kris Wu doesn't bring any answer to this question."

The Global Times newspaper, which has close ties to the People's Daily, said Wu would serve a jail term of anywhere from 10 years to life, if convicted.

Li Xueqin, a well-known talk show star who claims that she is a fan of Wu, deleted all her posts related to the idol, the paper said, adding that social media platform Sina Weibo had deleted its topic page for the rapper.

"Chinese media outlets including People's Daily, China Women's News, the Committee of Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee's official news website, Legal Daily, China anti-drug network have all released posts commenting on the severity of the Wu scandal and noting that it will be handled in accordance to the law," the paper said.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.


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