A serious Chinese language celeb has been slapped with damaging prostitution fees, with a string of big manufacturers now turning their backs on him.
This week, information broke that actor and singer Li Yifeng had been detained in Beijing on fees of “soliciting prostitution on a number of events”.
The 35-year-old has additionally reportedly confessed to the fees.
Earlier than the main points have been made public, his identify was quietly taken off an inventory of stars who have been meant to look on the televised Mid-Autumn Pageant Gala on Saturday.
His representatives additionally issued an announcement stating Li had “at all times abided by skilled ethics, adhered to the ethical backside line and actively proven social duty”.
Nonetheless, particulars of the scandal quickly started circulating, and inside hours not less than 11 main manufacturers, together with trend big Prada, dropped him from profitable ambassadorship positions.
Through the years, Li has grown to be each extremely influential and rich, amassing 60 million followers on the Weibo social media platform and rating ninth on Forbes’ China Celeb record in 2015, eleventh in 2017 and twenty sixth in 2019.
However the China Every day has since reported that Li has been “cancelled” within the wake of the solicitation fees, whereas the International Instances wrote that “enterprise insiders predict that his prospects of a comeback are hopeless”.
China has a historical past of focusing on high-profile residents – particularly the ultra-wealthy, and people inside the tech and leisure industries – as a part of Chinese language President Xi Jinping’s “Widespread Prosperity” technique, which is designed to rewind the affect of Western capitalism.
“Widespread prosperity is the important requirement of socialism and an necessary characteristic of Chinese language-style modernisation,” the chief reportedly mentioned final yr.
“It’s essential to comply with the rules of marketisation and rule of regulation, and co-ordinate the prevention and determination of main monetary dangers.”
Since then, it has grow to be more and more clear that Xi views unbiased billionaires and influential heroes as such a danger.
Because it was launched, enormous names have been caught within the crossfire, together with tech billionaire Jack Ma and actresses Fan Bingbing, Zheng Shuang and Zhao Wei, who disappeared from public life for months on finish after being “erased”.
One other sufferer of the crackdown was Charles Xue, a Chinese language-American entrepreneur and angel investor who vanished again in 2013 and solely re-emerged after a video of him confessing to hiring intercourse employees aired on nationwide tv.
Solicitation appears to be a selected focus of the Chinese language authorities, with high-profile pianist Li Yundi arrested on related fees in 2021.
In a worrying signal, he too subsequently disappeared for seven lengthy months.
And in 2018, China’s Nationwide Radio and Tv Administration ordered the banishment of actors whose “morality will not be noble”, who have been “tasteless, vulgar and obscene”, or whose “ideological degree is low and don’t have any class”.
The organisation dedicated to banning “actors with stains, scandals and problematic ethical integrity”.
In the meantime, Li Yifeng’s public fall from grace is very surprising after he portrayed Mao Zedong within the patriotic flick The Pioneer launched final yr.
Within the wake of the scandal, China’s Huading Awards introduced it had eliminated Li’s titles of “Greatest Actor in China’s Prime 100 TV Dramas” and “The Nationwide Viewers’s Favorite Film Star”. His associations with main manufacturers in addition to private statements concerning the scandal have additionally been wiped from the web.
Initially printed as Big brands desert Chinese actor and singer Li Yifeng over shock prostitution charges