A Chinese court in Beijing has sentenced Chinese-Canadian singer and actor Kris Wu (also known as Wu Yifan) to 13 years of jail time after finding him guilty of sexual offenses including rape.
Investigations presented in the court revealed that between November and December 2020, the singer took advantage of three women at his residence while they were under the influence of alcohol. Moreover, Wu was found guilty of the crime of assembling a crowd to engage in sexual promiscuity in July 2018.
On top of the rape charges, the 32-year-old ex-pop star was handed a hefty fine of 600 million RMB (approximately $83.8 million) from the Beijing Municipal Tax Service for tax evasion. Following the completion of his sentence, Wu will be deported from China, according to the People’s Court in Beijing.
News of the verdict spread like wildfire on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, with the hashtag “Wu Yifan’s rape case details revealed” amassing a staggering 320 million views. Meanwhile, two other hashtags outlining the pop star’s history of tax evasion garnered a whopping 1.1 billion views and 490 million views respectively. Most netizens expressed support for the 13-year punishment, while others deemed he deserved more jail time for his crimes.
Wu, who rose to fame as a member of the popular Korean-Chinese boyband EXO, was first accused of predatory behaviour in July 2021 when a young woman spoke out about how the pop star had sexually assaulted her in an interview with NetEase Entertainment. The accusations subsequently stirred up a massive wave of public opinion, which caused many brands such as Bulgari, Porsche, and Louis Vuitton to terminate their contracts with Wu.
With all eyes now on Wu, the fallen star’s scandal has become one of China’s most high-profile #MeToo cases. Not only has the case galvanised a movement against sexual harassment in China, but it has also amplified ‘cancel culture’ to such an extent that brands are now taking extra legal precautions when signing endorsement deals with celebrities.