Kris Wu sentenced to 13 years for rape and ‘group lewdness’ before deportation; fined 600m yuan for tax evasion
Published: Nov 25, 2022 03:58 PM Updated: Nov 25, 2022 10:33 PM
Kris Wu Photo: VCG

Kris Wu Photo: VCG

Chinese-Canadian pop singer and former member of South Korean boy band EXO Kris Wu Yifan was sentenced to 13 years in prison followed by deportation by a Beijing court on Friday after being convicted of rape and "group lewdness."  

On the same day, the star was also fined 600 million yuan ($83.89 million) for evading and underpaying taxes. 

The Chaoyang district people's court on Friday issued the sentence, handing Wu 11 years and six months for rape, and one year and 10 months for being party to "group lewdness", in addition to facing eventual deportation.

The sentence said that Wu had engaged in sexual acts with three females in his home after they were drunk and had no ability to resist in November and December 2020. Moreover, Wu, along with others, engaged in group sexual acts with two females following the latter's consumption of alcohol in 2018. 

Zhu Wei, a professor from the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times that deportation of foreign citizens can be applied independently and attached to a penalty if the person has committed serious crimes in China, and that in Wu's case, he will be deported after serving his entire sentence in the country.

Citing China's regulation on implementation of compulsory expulsion of foreigners, foreign citizens who have been sentenced to both a set term of imprisonment and deportation will carry out the prison term before being deported.

Zhu said that deportation normally has a minimum time limit of 10 years. "In a word, he committed crimes in China, and he must serve his sentence here before being removed," the legal professor said. 

China's criminal law also stipulates that anyone sentenced to more than 10 years cannot be released on parole, legal experts noted, explaining that this means even if Wu does behave well in prison, he won't be released before his set term.

Zhu also mentioned that this is not the final trial, and that Wu's eventual fate is still hanging in the balance. 

Chinese tax authorities fined Wu 600 million yuan for tax evasion, saying he evaded individual income tax between 2019 and 2020 by using fictitious business deals to disguise his true income, media reported.

Authorities claimed that Wu took advantage of his foreign citizenship and his fame, and asked Chinese companies or Chinese companies' overseas branches to transfer his earnings to foreign-registered companies and depict his earnings made in China as income from overseas to evade taxes.

Compared with the tax evasion cases that have been made public, Wu's case is more concealed, and endangers China's tax sovereignty, officials stated. 

Wu found himself in hot water in July 2021 after being accused by Du Meizhu, an internet influencer who claimed to be Wu's girlfriend, of luring underage women to have sex by claiming he was recruiting actresses.

Later that month, prosecutors from Beijing's Chaoyang district ordered Wu's arrest under suspicion of rape.

Legal expert Zhu said the trial will serve as a warning to society, as Wu's case has attracted a great deal of attention. 

The case has prompted deep reflection across the Chinese entertainment industry, particularly on the character of major celebrities. While hailing that justice has been served in Wu's case, one Chinese netizen said on Sina Weibo that abiding by the law is the bottom line of being a human being, but seemed to represent a high standard for so-called pop stars. 

Another said celebrities should learn how to be good people before being good actors or singers and practice self-discipline, as one scandal could impact the perception of the entire industry.