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Kris Wu Arrested on Suspicion of Rape, Netizens React with Jokes

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Chinese-Canadian pop idol Kris Wu was officially arrested for suspected rape on Monday by Beijing police. (He was previously ‘detained,’ and yes, there is a difference under Chinese law.)

According to a statement from the Beijing Chaoyang District People’s Procuratorate on the night of August 16, “an arrest warrant was issued for suspect Wu on suspicion of rape in accordance with the law.”

kris wu arrested

Beijing Chaoyang District People’s Procuratorate announced Kris Wu’s arrest on the night of August 16. Screengrab via Weibo

The arrest happened roughly two weeks after Wu was detained on suspicion of rape by the Public Security Bureau in Chaoyang district in the wake of accusations made in July by 19-year-old Du Meizhu, who accused Wu of predatory sexual behavior.

A Soft #MeToo Movement

Du outlined detailed allegations on social media, including screenshots of Wu chatting with underage girls.

Following Du’s revelation, more women came forward to share their experiences with Wu. A former member of the girl band SNH48, Zhang Dansan, shared her chat history with Wu in which he asks her if she has ever had sex.

Though Du nor other accusers have ever mentioned #MeToo, presumably due to fear of being accused of foreign collusion, their publicly shared allegations on social media sparked an online outcry and prompted a thorough investigation.

The chain of events bears a striking resemblance to the downfall of American movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other high-profile casualties of the #MeToo movement in the United States.

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Online Reactions

Though Wu’s team has denied all the accusations against him, brands such as Lancôme, Tuborg Brewery, and Bvlgari have cut ties with Wu, and multiple social media platforms have deleted accounts and content belonging to the star.

Following his detainment, Wu’s accounts were taken down from the Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, online culture community Douban, and TikTok’s domestic version, Douyin. Some of the pop idol’s songs have been removed from music streaming sites, and his personal pages have also disappeared on video streaming platforms such as iQIYI and Tencent Video.

Related:

Kris Wu Gets Cancelled on Chinese Social Media, Streaming Sites

Since police publicized Wu’s arrest, the hashtag for the announcement has been trending on Weibo and garnered 1.87 billion views in less than 24 hours.

Many netizens are celebrating the news with jokes and memes.

“Don’t worry, fans, you might still be able to see Wu on TV! CCTV is probably making a special episode for him on ‘Legal Report,’” said one commenter under the post, jokingly referring to the reality legal program of state broadcaster CCTV.

“Kris Wu: I’ve gotten rooms with so many girls in my life but didn’t expect to end up in a prison cell,” wrote another.

Du also cheered the news by thanking the police and members of her fan group.

Some have also drawn comparisons between Wu and another former K-pop star, Lee Seung-hyun, better known by his stage names Seungri and V.I. Lee was recently jailed for three years for arranging prostitution and gambling.

Sports commentary and news platform Hupu has updated the upvoted button in their entertainment section in response to Wu’s arrest, as seen below.

hupu kris wu arrest

Sports commentary and news platform Hupu has updated the upvoted icon in their entertainment section. Screengrab via Hupu

The lightning bolt refers to Wu’s nickname ‘Canadian Electric Eel’ (加拿大电鳗), which was given by Hupu netizens years ago because he often uses autotune in his songs.

The slang term ‘skr’ was frequently misused by Wu to mean ‘good’ when he was a judge on the hit hip hop show Rap of China two years ago. The word is actually intended to describe the sound of a sports car’s tires rubbing the ground.

Many rappers use skr in their rap songs but not in the way that Wu uses the term.

So, in general, Hupu’s new upvote sign is meant to mock Wu’s musical talents. Most fascinatingly, if you upvote a post on the platform, prison bars will appear to lock up the skr electric eel.

Cover photo via Depositphotos

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.