Chinese K-pop idol Zhang Yixing, also known as Lay, has drawn mixed reactions after expressing support for Hong Kong police amid ongoing protests in the city.
Earlier this week, the 27-year-old artist terminated his contract with Samsung Electronics after determining that the South Korean tech giant does not adhere to the “One China” policy.
The announcement, which came from his studio, was posted Tuesday on Weibo. “Samsung Electronics, which Lay is a model for, has unclear definitions of country and region on its official global site,” the statement said, according to Soompi.
It added, “The act of being ambiguous about the integrity of our sovereignty and territory has severely hurt the national feelings of Chinese compatriots. We express our regret and state that we cannot tolerate this.”
The next day, the only remaining Chinese member of EXO declared his support for the Hong Kong police, who have been accused of using excessive force to control activists.
“Believe in the country, oppose violence, hope for peace in Hong Kong, China,” Lay wrote in a tweet, including a text photo from the Chinese state-run People’s Daily that reads, “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now” and “What a shame for Hong Kong.”
Ahead of his breakup with Samsung, Lay, who is also a model for Calvin Klein, warned the American company after it listed Hong Kong and Taiwan as “different regions” on its website, the South China Morning Post reported.
The artist’s support for Hong Kong police has since gone viral with more than 82,000 likes and 49,000 comments — many from fans who vowed to stand by his side.
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