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Reality Singers’ Decision to Raise Child Without Marriage Sparks Discussion on Social Media

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Singers Hua Chenyu and Zhang Bichen revealed that they have a 1-year-old daughter together, and will raise the child without marriage. The news broke last Friday, in the wake of Zheng Shuang’s surrogacy and child abandonment scandal. 

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Hua is one of China’s most influential singer-songwriters. Zhang is also a singer, having won The Voice of China in 2014. They initially shared the stage on the reality show Be the Idol, and were rumored to be dating in 2018. 

“The arrival of this child really healed me a lot, I am very happy that the heavens brought me such a special gift,” Hua wrote on Weibo. “Although it was sudden, I am glad and we will give the child a healthy and happy environment.” Hua didn’t mention Zhang in his post. 

Shortly after, Zhang confirmed the news and posted that she had given birth to the child alone in the US without Hua knowing. She said she was “dumbfounded” when she realized that she was pregnant in late 2018, and will raise the child without marriage. 

“[Hua] said we should give the child a complete hukou (a legal document that records the household’s basic information),” Zhang explained. “He also said he will love the child, and give her a healthy and happy environment to grow up in.”

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On Chinese social media Weibo, the hashtag “Hua Chenyu and Zhang Bichen” quickly climbed up to the top trending position, generating 170 million views and 1.7 million comments, with many expressing disappointment in the two stars. 

“I canceled Hua,” wrote a Hua fan who had followed the idol since 2013. “I wouldn’t do so if he just got married or had a kid. I don’t know how different he is on the stage and in private.” 

“It’s really not sweet at all! Girls, would you please take this as a warning?” another user wrote. “When you fall in love, you must protect yourself, and you must take safety measures if you are not ready to have a child.” 

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Although it’s common in many countries, China’s constitution advises against having a child outside of marriage, according to Yang Hong, a lawyer specializing in women and children’s rights. 

“We should put children’s rights first,” Yang said. “No one can promise that they will remain single for the rest of their lives for the children. If they build a new family with others, it is uncertain whether these children can have a happy life.”

Jocelyn Yang
    Jocelyn Yang is a student journalist at Emerson College and serves as an editorial intern at RADII. Her primary field of interest is writing about Chinese and American cultures. Follows her on Twitter @_jocelynyang_.