International brands have cut ties with Chinese actor Li Yifeng, who starred in as Mao Zedong in the film The Pioneer, after he was reportedly accused of soliciting prostitutes.  A check by MARKETING-INTERACTIVE saw that global brands such as Prada, Honma, Chinese herbal brand King To Nin Jiom and 蒙牛真果粒 have stated on their official Weibo accounts on 11 September that they have ended their partnerships with Li. Most of the brands did not go into detail on the reasons behind the decision, but comes shortly after Beijing police reportedly detained Chinese actor Li Yifeng, as he was accused of visiting prostitutes numerous times.

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According to the official statement of state broadcaster CCTV on 11 September, Beijing police said a 35-year-old male actor surnamed Li had confessed to the illegal fact of soliciting prostitutes, and he has been administratively detained according to law. “The person confessed to visiting prostitutes multiple times and has been placed under administrative detention,” the statement said. The police statement did not identify Li by his full name, however CCTV confirmed the actor had been taken into custody. No details were disclosed either.

Soliciting prostitution is illegal under Chinese law, and often sees administrative detention of between 10 and 15 days. It could be reduced to five days or fewer if the offence is minor, according to SCMP .

Since the incident, other industry players have also been accused of the same offence. One such name that has popped up according to media reports is  Hong Kong-born K-pop star Jackson Wang, with local reports claiming that Wang was involved in the incident. Back in August 2021, South Korean pop star Seungri was put behind bars for prostitution-related and gambling offences, according to SCMP .  The sentence was handed down to the former Big Bang member by a military court after a lengthy investigation into his involvement in the Burning Sun nightclub scandal in Seoul.

Seungri, born Lee Seung-hyun, was found guilty on all nine counts against him. He was sentenced to three years in prison after being found guilty of facilitating prostitution for investors, and also for gambling overseas using illegal foreign exchanges.

(Photo courtesy: Li Yifeng's Weibo )

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