Kris Wu sentenced to 13 years in Chinese prison for sex crimes

HONG KONG — Chinese-Canadian pop star Chris Wu was sentenced to 13 years in prison for rape and other sexual crimes, a Chinese court said on its official Weibo account on Friday (Nov. 25).

The Chaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing said that from November to December 2020, Wu, also known as Wu Yifan, raped three women in his home while under the influence of alcohol.

Wu was sentenced to 11.5 years for rape and 22 months for “assembling a crowd to engage in promiscuous activities” in July 2018, according to the Weibo post. Wu, who is a Canadian citizen, must serve a 13-year term in China before being deported.

“Justice was delayed, but now it’s here,” You Meizhuthe Chinese influencer who blew the whistle on Wu wrote on Weibo after the announcement.

Born in China and raised in Canada, Wu was a former member of the popular K-pop group EXO before returning to China to pursue his solo career in 2014.

Wu was detained in Beijing last July and was formally arrested on suspicion of rape in August after the then 18-year-old Du accused him of luring her and other underage girls to have sex under the pretext that they would be promised . an acting career. The closed-door trial began in Beijing in June.

The sexual assault allegations against Wu led to widespread criticism and became one of the most high-profile #MeToo cases in China.

Wu was also ordered to pay a fine of 600 million yuan ($83.5 million) for concealing personal income through domestic and foreign affiliates, local tax authorities said on their website.

Wu’s scandal came at a time when Chinese internet and media regulators have vowed to silence “unwholesome” online fan groups and crack down on “tainted artists” who have used drugs, visited prostitutes or broken the law, from all forms of broadcasting.

Artists in China have been under great pressure to refrain from “immoral conduct,” which includes acts as small as smoking or having tattoos.

Under public pressure from the sex-crime allegations, some 20 brands – including Lancôme, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Porsche – cut ties with Wu last year. Chinese music streaming platforms including Tencent’s QQ Music and NetEase Cloud Music pulled his songs, and his Weibo social media account, where he had over 51 million followers, was removed shortly after his detention.

Wu’s former group, EXO, became one of the most successful boy bands in South Korea, selling over 1.4 million albums in their first year, according to its label, SM Entertainment, and performing sold-out concerts around the world.

He has also appeared in films and appeared as a judge on Rap from China, a popular reality television show. In 2017, Wu was named ForbesThe 10th most influential Chinese celebrity of the year with an annual income of 150 million yuan ($23 million).

In 2018, Wu signed with Universal Music to distribute his music in global territories besides Japan and South Korea. His debut studio album, Antares (2018), Ariana Grande crashed out of the US iTunes music charts and was certified platinum in China. It peaked at No. 100 on Billboard 200 album chart, while the single “Like That” rose to No. 73 on the Billboard Hot 100. (Each lasted a week on the charts.)

Wu’s contract with Universal expired in March 2021, and the label did not renew it.

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