A court in China’s capital Beijing on Friday denied the appeal of Canadian pop star Kris Wu, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for crimes including rape, it said in a statement. The Beijing Chaoyang District Court ruled that the Chinese-Canadian, also known as Wu Yifan, supplied three women with alcohol in 2020 and raped them when they were unable to consent, it said. The court said the singer would be deported after completing his sentence.
The court found that Wu gathered a group of people to engage in lewd activities, and as the ringleader, his behavior constituted the crime of group licentiousness, it added. The court also ruled that the assault on two of the victims in 2018 constituted the crime of rape. Wu’s lawyer urged the court to uphold the original verdict, but he was absent at the hearing.
Wu was a member of the K-pop group EXO and returned to China in 2014, where he built a lucrative career as a solo artist. His accusations last year triggered a public outcry and renewed conversations about misogyny in the country. He was accused of luring young women to his home, plying them with alcohol, and pressing them for sex. He denied the allegations and criticized his accuser for playing up her story to gain online popularity.
Several women came forward with their own stories of abuse by Wu, who has been arrested and released on bail. One woman, Du Meizhu, said she was sexually assaulted by the singer when she was 17 and later suffered from psychological trauma. The case sparked a flood of support for the teenager and criticism of Wu’s treatment of women.
The scandal also sparked calls for companies to impose more authoritarian sexual harassment policies. Wu was stripped of his major ambassador roles with brands such as Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, and Porsche, and many other female celebrities also cut ties with the singer.
The court’s ruling comes amid a broader crackdown on sexual violence against women in China. It has prompted calls for more victims to come forward and an online campaign for more people to visit a hotline to report sexual abuse. The number is 741-741, which connects people with crisis counselors. The service is free and confidential. You can also text “STRENGTH” to 700741 for support. (Reporting by Xiaoying Zhen; Editing by John Ruwitch)