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Pop star Kris Wu sentenced to 13 years in jail for rape in China

Chinese authorities detained the rapper and singer in July 2021 after a series of sexual harassment allegations from internet celebrities and underage girls.
Chinese-Canadian ex-pop star Kris Wu has been jailed for 13 years after being found guilty of rape, a Chinese court said on November 25, 2022, following a scandal that drew widespread condemnation.
Chinese Canadian pop star Kris Wu in Beijing in October 2018. AFP - Getty Images file

A court in Beijing on Friday sentenced Chinese-born Canadian musician Kris Wu to over 13 years for rape and other crimes.

Chinese authorities detained and charged Wu, a rapper and singer, in July 2021, after a series of sexual harassment allegations from internet celebrities and underage girls. 

Chaoyang District Court found Wu, also known as Wu Yifan, guilty of raping three women in November and December 2020, according to the court’s official Weibo account. The women were “intoxicated and defenseless,” it said.

Wu, 32, made his Hollywood debut in the sci-fi film “XXX: Return of Xander Cage” in 2017. He was previously a member of the K-pop group EXO. At least a dozen brands, including Porsche and Bulgari, have cut ties with him since he was charged last year.

Wu was also found guilty of “group licentiousness,” described as three or more people gathered to engage in sexual promiscuity. Being charged with group licentiousness can result in a jail sentence of up to five years. Punishment in cases involving minors can be higher.

Wu’s conviction has sparked energetic conversation on Weibo, a Chinese social media app, where many netizens applauded the verdict. Some said they were “witnessing history,” as Wu is the first idol in China to be imprisoned for as long as 13 years.

Wu is one of 88 celebrities who were blacklisted in China for “illegal and immoral activities” in November 2021, according to the China Association of Performing Arts. The association’s official announcement said the blacklist was developed to “strengthen industry self-discipline.”