As the government continues to crack down on the entertainment sector, international companies have severed connections with popular Chinese actress and singer Li Yifeng, including luxury fashion business Prada SpA and healthcare provider Haleon Plc.

According to a Weibo post by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau and a report by state-run CCTV, Li, 35, was detained by Beijing police on suspicion of “soliciting prostitution on many occasions.”

Following his detention, a number of foreign and Chinese businesses, including Prada, where he served as a brand ambassador, declared they had ended all business ties with the actor.

Other companies that broke connections with Li include Zhenguoli, a beverage brand owned by dairy behemoth China Mengniu Dairy Co., and Sensodyne, a toothpaste division of Britain-based Haleon.

The broadcast regulator in China has moved to ban film stars with “incorrect” politics, regulate pay, and restrain celebrity fan culture as part of sweeping measures to clean up the entertainment sector.

Li Yundi, a famous pianist, was detained in October 2021 as part of a larger campaign against the industry for soliciting a prostitute.

Since then, he has not been seen in public.

Li Yifeng was previously recognised by the authorities due to his portrayal of Mao Zedong in the patriotic film The Pioneer, which was produced in 2021 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the China Communist Party.

Additionally, he has made numerous appearances in advertisements for official organisations including the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of State Security.

Li, who has more than 60 million followers on the Weibo social media site, which is similar to Twitter, was involved in the boycott of Hugo Boss AG because of its promise not to use cotton produced in Xinjiang due to concerns that it is made using forced labour by Uyghurs, a Muslim minority. by Bloomberg


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