After being accused of sexual abuse against women, major businesses are ending their ties with Kris Wu, a former member of the K-pop group EXO and one of China's most famous superstars. The claims have sparked a national outcry and ignited the Chinese internet.
The problem was mentioned in eight of the top ten search results on the Twitter-like Weibo site on Monday, and just one of the many relevant hashtags has gotten hundreds of thousands of comments and roughly 2 billion views. As sexual assault accusations against the Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu sparked outrage throughout Chinese social media, Louis Vuitton, Porsche, and Bulgari yesterday joined a slew of businesses in dumping him.
Brands cut ties with Kris Wu
In an interview on Sunday with the Chinese news portal NetEase, 19-year-old student Du Meizhu accused Wu, 30, of date-raping her when she was 17. Du said that the K-pop artist tried to buy her silence for 500,000 yuan (S$105,260), but she planned to pursue legal actions, as per Strait Times.
Wu, who grew up in Vancouver and Guangzhou and holds Canadian citizenship, has rejected the claims on social media. Du's charges were greeted with a long statement from the pop star's studio, which denied any wrongdoing and claimed that she only met him once at a party, sought to extort millions of yuan from his employees, and fabricated her accusations.
Kris Wu is facing unusually rapid repercussions in China as a result of sexual assault claims, indicating that the country's sluggish MeToo movement may be gaining traction under increasing state scrutiny of the country's affluent. On Tuesday, 24 claimed victims had filed complaints against Wu on Chinese social media, with many including screenshots of conversation history and audio recordings.
In other situations, Chinese official media warned against making snap judgments and even threw doubt on the claims. This time, however, it focused primarily on the case's contested facts and potential sanctions.
Per The Washington Post via MSN, the shift appears to be attributable in part to the huge number of accusations against Wu, as well as their youth. However, official media commentary points to a policy change in which famous private-sector leaders are given less political protection.
The change implies that the MeToo movement in China might benefit from more state monitoring of rich business people, particularly those with international links. Over the last year, Beijing has stretched its powers against some of the country's most prominent corporations, including torpedoing Alibaba's digital payments affiliate's IPO ambitions.
Former EXO member's battle against sexual abuse claims
Kris Wu was embroiled in a lawsuit with SM Entertainment during his career in the K-pop world with the group EXO. While the problem was with his contract because he wanted to quit, he has now gotten himself into a far more severe situation. A reported ex has been alleging that he sexually abused 30 girls since the beginning of July.
Meizhu Du is a 19-year-old student at China's Communication University. She also has an online shop as well as live streaming for her fans. Her ambition to be an artist was what drew her to Kris Wu. She initially came out after she suspected Wu of cheating on her; she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a result.
Kris Wu was caught on camera a month earlier, renting a movie theater for his date with a female who many assumed was Chen Ziyi. The female influencer was also 19 years old at the time. Wu's legal team indicated that he would file a lawsuit if his privacy was violated. Cnetizens, on the other hand, continued to speak about it, slamming the 30-year-old pop star for allegedly dating such a young lady.
On July 8, nearly a month later, Du Meizhu sent a lengthy statement with screenshots that she claimed were evidence. She claimed she felt empowered to come out and talk about Wu after seeing cnetizens turn their backs on him after the movie date incident in June.
She was, however, cyberbullied and threatened with death by internet trolls. It harmed her mental health to the point where she wanted to commit suicide. She returned with more purported proof, which she believes will be acceptable in court, MEAWW reported.