What the Kris Wu Scandal Says About China

What Happened: Over the weekend, pop star Kris Wu was detained by Beijing police on suspicion of sexual misconduct after allegations that he “repeatedly seducing young women into sexual relations” came to light. Since then, the social media accounts of the 30-year-old idol have been taken down, including a personal Weibo page with more than 51 million followers, on which he denied the accusations last month. As fashion brands and devoted fans distance themselves from what was once China’s most valuable face, the case against Wu is still under investigation.

The Jing Take: Wu’s good looks, which have earned him the nickname 漫画里出来的少年 or “boy from the comic book,” have netted him the adoration of millions. And, during his career, he has sold everything from cosmetics to cars. Now, his arrest, as well as the nature of these alleged offenses, have been a massive wake-up call to citizens — not only in the country’s entertainment industry but across wider society, as well. It is also a cautionary tale for the many brands and companies that hired Wu for collaborations and endorsements.

But most importantly, it gives credence to the rights of women in China to speak out about sexual offenses and abuses. Behind the scenes, the country’s #metoo movement has been growing in momentum since 2018, and intense public interest indicates that China’s young generation demands action. If convicted, Wu could be sentenced to ten years to life in prison and face deportation. Whatever the verdict, it is clear that this case is already a game-changer for women seeking their day in court.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.


Influencers, News