Brands cut ties with Chinese actor Li Yifeng after he was arrested for soliciting prostitutes

Li Yifeng was arrested for soliciting the services of sex workers. – Photo via Facebook/Liyifeng 李易峰 News

By Sylvia Looi

Monday, September 12, 2022 11:51 a.m. GMT

KUALA LUMPUR, September 12 – Chinese police have arrested actor Li Yifeng for repeatedly soliciting sex workers.

Beijing police released a statement about the 35-year-old man, identified by his surname Li, world times reported.

This was contrary to the announcement made by Li’s studio on Saturday night, saying comments about his personal life on the internet were just rumors.

The actor, who played Mao Zedong in The Pioneer, was detained on criminal charges of soliciting prostitution services, to which he also allegedly confessed.

At least 11 brands including Zhenguoli under Mengniu, Prada, Luk Fook Jewelry, Panerai, Sensodyne and RemyMartin have since announced the end of their partnership with Li.

Search results for Li in Budweiser and L’Oréal accounts on Weibo, which were previously endorsed by Li, ended with no results.

The organizing committee of the Huading Awards announced in Macau on Sunday that it had withdrawn the titles of “Best Actor in China’s Top 100 TV Series” and “Domestic Audience’s Favorite Movie Star” that it won at the 22nd Huading Awards.

Li, who has over 36 million Sina Weibo subscribers, was originally announced as one of the celebrities to attend the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala on CCTV on Saturday night, but his name was later removed from the program.

Social media users also noticed that the official Weibo account of China’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate deleted all information relating to Li on Saturday.

Li was previously the promotional ambassador for the activities of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, participating in the filming of music videos, among other publicity works.

In October last year, Chinese pianist Li Yundi was arrested for soliciting the services of sex workers.

Soliciting a prostitute and selling sex are illegal in China, and those found guilty can face up to 15 days in detention and a maximum fine of 5,000 yuan (RM3,248).

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