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Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu faces arrest over alleged rape

Beijing authorities on Monday approved the arrest of Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu over allegations of rape, in a scandal that has drawn widespread condemnation on social media.

Kris Wu originally shot to fame as a member of the K-pop boyband EXO
Kris Wu originally shot to fame as a member of the K-pop boyband EXO

The saga has evoked China’s #MeToo movement, which saw a wave of women come forward in 2018 voicing experiences of sexual harassment — sometimes involving powerful public figures.

Nineteen-year-old student Du Meizhu accused Wu last month of date-raping her when she was 17, resulting in a barrage of public criticism and luxury brands dropping deals with him.

On Monday, the People’s Procuratorate of Beijing’s Chaoyang district said in a statement that it has approved his arrest “on suspicion of rape”.

Wu originally shot to fame as a member of the K-pop boyband EXO, before leaving in 2014 to launch a successful solo career as a singer, actor, model and variety show judge.

Since Du’s accusations, more alleged victims have spoken out online, accusing Wu’s staff of predatory behaviour including inviting them to boozy karaoke parties.

In late July, Wu — who also holds Canadian citizenship — was detained by police.

The China Association of Performing Arts said in a statement on Monday that violating the law and having a negative influence on society as a top celebrity was “intolerable for the industry”.

“After legal actions have concluded, the artist involved in this case, Wu Yifan, will also face continued employment boycotts and other punishments imposed by the industry,” the group added, using Wu’s Chinese name.

“Artists and management companies should take this case as a warning.” AFP

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