BEIJING – Information of world-famous pianist Li Yundi’s arrest for soliciting a prostitute has despatched shockwaves by way of the Chinese language Web, with netizens questioning why he would do it or if he was being framed.
Beijing police first posted an announcement on its microblogging Weibo account on Thursday night time (Oct 21), saying that they had arrested a pair in Chaoyang district for “industrial sexual exercise”.
Chaoyang is the largest district in central Beijing.
Like all police statements, solely the surnames and ages got. However netizens have been fast to determine Li, 39, by way of one other cryptic submit by the police uploaded simply earlier than the assertion.
In it was an image of piano keys and an ambiguous caption that learn: “Not all the pieces is in black and white on this world, however we should be clear in regards to the distinction between the 2. We should not get them improper…”.
By Friday morning, Chinese language media had named Li, generally known as China’s Piano Prince, because the one detained.
Native media reported that the police had acted on tip-offs that Li would allegedly pay for intercourse regularly, and had arrested him at his residence.
The pianist and a lady surnamed Chen, 29, admitted to the crime, after police discovered data of cash transfers on their WeChat accounts, mentioned the media stories.
Soliciting a prostitute and promoting intercourse are unlawful in China, and people discovered responsible might withstand 15 days’ detention and a most nice of 5,000 yuan (S$1,050).
By Friday afternoon, the hashtag referring to Li’s arrest on Weibo had attracted 720 million views and sparked 32,000 discussions. It was additionally one of many hottest trending subjects on the platform.
Some have been fast to query if he had made political enemies, on condition that the federal government had supposedly used accusations of prostitution beforehand to intimidate opponents reminiscent of Hong Kong freedom activist Simon Cheng in 2019.
Weibo consumer Jijixiangshang mentioned: “I’m wondering why was he singled out. Perhaps he offended somebody greater up… I am positive the leisure scene could be very chaotic, simply have a look at what occurred to (Kris Wu). Li Yundi can’t be the one one who solicits prostitutes.”
However others insist that Li’s arrest was a matter of time, given Beijing’s current clampdown on the leisure business.
“He might have been a toddler prodigy and a family identify in China, however his private life is so messy. The state should have been watching him for some time now,” mentioned consumer kkguazi.
Beijing has been cleaning up the Chinese entertainment scene by cracking down on disorderly fan golf equipment and celebrities who’re perceived to be poor position fashions.
Because the information of Li’s arrest broke, business associations have additionally swiftly distanced themselves from him.
The China Affiliation of Performing Arts mentioned it had cancelled Li’s membership, citing his “indifference to the regulation and a scarcity of ethical self-discipline”.
The affiliation, China’s largest performing arts organisation, even referred to as for a boycott of the pianist.
The Chinese language Musicians’ Affiliation additionally dropped Li as a member for creating “extraordinarily unfavourable social affect”.
Born in Chongqing in south-west China, Li turned the youngest pianist on the age of 18 to win the Worldwide Chopin Piano Competitors in 2000, which launched his worldwide music profession.
A Yundi Artwork Museum opened in his residence city in 2017, showcasing pianos from totally different levels of his profession.