A prominent Chinese pianist, Li Yundi, has been detained on prostitution suspicion in Beijing, state-run news outlets in China reported on Thursday.
Mr. Li, 39, who had gained celebrity in China as a performer and a reality television personality, was accused of soliciting a 29-year-old woman, according to People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party.
The authorities in Beijing did not provide many details of the incident, saying in a statement that a 39-year-old man with the last name Li had acknowledged wrongdoing and had been detained “in accordance with the law.”
In an apparent reference to Mr. Li’s case, the Beijing authorities later posted a photo of piano keys alongside the text: “The world is not simply black and white, but one must distinguish between black and white. It must never be mistaken.”
The Chinese government often uses accusations of prostitution to intimidate political enemies, and it was unclear why Mr. Li had been singled out and what punishment he might face. Mr. Li and his representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reports of Mr. Li’s detention quickly became one of the most widely discussed topics on the Chinese internet, with hundreds of thousands of people weighing in. Many expressed shock at the detention of Mr. Li, who rose to fame after becoming one of the youngest people to win the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2000, when he was 18.
“He has accumulated popularity for many years, and now it has been ruined after 20 or 30 years of hard work,” wrote one user on Weibo, a Twitterlike Chinese site.
Under China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, the government
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