Chinese entertainment industry sees another bomb drop: top singers to raise child out of wedlock
Published: Jan 24, 2021 10:19 PM

Hua Chenyu Photo: Weibo

On Friday, top Chinese singers Hua Chenyu and Zhang Bichen suddenly revealed that they had a baby together in 2018 and are set on raising the child together even though they are no longer in a relationship. The bomb following the surrogacy scandal involving Chinese actress Zheng Shuang has sparked another wave of discussion on Chinese social media about having children out of wedlock.

Although there had long been rumors that the two had once dated, they had never publicly revealed their relationship.  

Then, in a post on Sina Weibo on Friday, Hua, who has more than 30 million followers on the platform, wrote “Yes, we have a child.” Soon after, Zhang stepped forward and talked about how she gave birth to the child alone in the US and held the news back from Hua.

Zhang Bichen  Photo: CFP

Zhang said that she discovered she was pregnant at a time when Hua’s career was on the rise, so she decided to raise the child on her own as they had already broken up. The post did not mention when Hua found out he was a father, just that the singer was surprised and happy after he was told about the child.

Hua’s studio also posted a statement saying that Hua and Zhang will not get married but for the sake of the child the two singers will continue to raise her together.

The news began trending on Sina Weibo almost immediately. Expressing astonishment at first, netizens soon began talking about how the two will go about working together to raise the child and whether or not they were revealing the whole story. 

Some netizens supported the celebrities’ choice, saying that raising children should not be automatically tied to marriage. Others noted that since children out of wedlock have equal rights under Chinese law as those born to married parents, people should not be prejudiced against the child.

“After a new cooling-off period for divorce was introduced into China’s marriage law, people are more cautious about getting married. Hua and Zhang raising the child together without getting married, which is popular in Northern Europe, might become a new trend. When young couples realize they can have a baby even if they are not husband and wife, this is sure to increase the birth rate,” one netizen commented on Sina Weibo.

But law experts disagree. 

Yang Hong, a lawyer specializing in women and children rights, told the Global Times on Sunday that having children out of wedlock can cause many social problems and should not be promoted.

“We should put children’s rights first. No one can promise that they will remain single for the rest of their lives for the children. If they build a new family with others, it is uncertain whether these children can have a happy life,” Yang said.

Although Chinese law gives the same rights to all children regardless of their parents’ relationship status, Yang and other lawyers on Sina Weibo say they are still opposed to having children out of wedlock, saying that laws should punish those who do so on purpose.

A Chinese fan of Hua surnamed Xiao, who just got married in January, said she cannot accept her idol’s decision. 
“I think now the best solution would be to get married with Zhang and raise the child together. The baby needs an intact family bonded by blood,” she said.