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Kris Wu’s Detention Hailed A ‘Rare Victory’ For China’s #MeToo Movement

The star—one of China’s biggest—has been detained by Beijing police following public accusations of sexual misconduct against him. Here's everything you need to know about this controversy

Less than a month ago, several luxury brands pulled out of their endorsement deals with Chinese-Canadian pop singer Kris Wu, following allegations of sexual misconduct. He is currently in police detention on “suspicion of rape,” reports the New York Times


While he has not been formally charged, his career and public image have definitely already been affected. Since the news of his detention came out, his Weibo account—in which he had over 52 million followers—was promptly taken down, as well as his songs from Chinese music streaming platforms. 


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Here’s everything you need to know about this scandal:


Who is Kris Wu?

One of China’s biggest stars, Kris Wu has been in the entertainment industry since his debut in the K-pop group EXO, which he left in 2014 to embark on a solo career. Since then, his popularity has soared in China, landing him deals with some of the most renowned international brands today一from Louis Vuitton and Porsche to Bvlgari and Lancôme. 


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What are the allegations against Kris Wu?

Reports of his behavior first emerged less than a month ago when a 19-year-old college student by the name of Du Meizhu shared screenshots of alleged conversations between Wu and underaged girls on Weibo. Du Meizhu claimed that Wu raped her and 30 other girls after getting them drunk. Wu and his team denied the allegations, claiming to have filed a “defamation lawsuit against Du the same day,” reports WWD.

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What is the aftermath of the allegations? 

Sometime after that, Du then revealed that she was approached by Wu’s team and “proposed to settle the accusations with money,” which Du had said she returned. Beijing police released details of their investigation, directly contradicting Wu’s statement. 


After reports of Wu’s sexual misconduct continued to come in, brands began terminating their relationships with Wu. His wax figure in Madame Tussauds Shanghai was also removed.  


In a commentary published by Global Times, a Communist Party-run newspaper from China, some experts predict that Wu may be sentenced to somewhere between “10 years and life imprisonment.”


While his internet presence has been scrubbed from Chinese platforms, his Spotify artist profile, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and YouTube channel remain up. 




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On August 1, it was reported that police in China detained Wu on “suspicion of rape.” His detention has been hailed a “rare victory” for China’s “fledgling #MeToo movement,” write Amy Qin and Elsie Chen in the New York Times


Several publications, including Quartz and the New York Times have noted that Wu is the “most powerful figure to have been brought down by sexual offense allegations in China, where it remains difficult to bring such cases to court.” 


Prominent Chinese feminist and activist Xiong Jing told the publication, “The arrest of Wu is a small victory of the #MeToo movement in China, because previously so many similar cases could not even make it to the official investigation period.”


As the #MeToo movement ignited Hollywood and other parts of the west, women in China were also compelled to share their experiences of sexual harassment, with Zhou Xiaoxuan’s landmark case against high-profile TV host Zhu Jun being one example. 


Lead photo from @kriswu on Twitter