Famous Chinese pianist Li Yundi was arrested for luring a prostitute, state media reported.
A 39-year-old and a prostitute, 29, confessed to the illegal activity, Beijing police said in an online post. They were caught after authorities received reports from the public.
Although the police did not publish his full name in the notice, state media later confirmed that it was Li.
The news shocked many fans of the man known as China’s “Piano Prince”.
At just 18, Li became the youngest pianist – and the first Chinese – to win first prize at the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in 2000.
He has continued to perform around the world and is a household name in the Chinese-speaking world.
“Oh my god, I can’t believe it. Is it really the same Li Yundi that we admire so much?” Wrote one person on the Twitter-like platform Weibo.
Others expressed skepticism about how he was caught.
“I’m curious how the public found out about him. When you see a 39-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman walking into an apartment building together, how did people know he was a prostitute and she was a client? Why? not a married couple, friends, connection mates? “, reads a Weibo comment.
Following the news, the Chinese Musicians’ Association said it would revoke Li’s membership as it represents “an extremely negative social impact”.
Some observers have said that his detention could be seen as a warning to other “immoral” celebrities as China increases its recent crackdown on the entertainment industry
Under Chinese law, those who solicit or manage prostitutes can be detained for up to 15 days and fined up to 5,000 yuan ($ 782).
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