Chinese singer and girlfriend arrested for drug use and possession in Beijing
- Media report identifies him as Chen Yufan from popular rock duo Yu Quan
- Management company condemns ‘rumours’ about singer but then removes statement from social media, while anniversary concert has been cancelled
A 43-year-old Chinese singer and his girlfriend were arrested in Beijing on Wednesday, charged with drug abuse and possession, local police said.
The police statement identified the singer only by his surname, Chen. But Sina Entertainment reported that the singer is Chen Yufan, whose real name is Chen Tao, citing a post on microblogging site Weibo that has since been removed.
The 43-year-old is one half of popular Chinese rock duo Yu Quan, who are best known for their 1999 song The Most Beautiful.
Yu Quan’s 20th anniversary concert, which had been scheduled for December 25 in Beijing, has also been cancelled.
Beijing police added to speculation about Chen Yufan, saying “drugs caused the fall of the ‘most beautiful’” in the statement on its Weibo account.
In response to the speculation, the singer’s management company, Giant Jump, said: “Chen Yufan has been working on writing music and will continue to create more work for his fans. We strongly condemn the rumours about Chen’s behaviour.”
That statement has since been removed from Weibo.
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Police said they found 7.96 grams of methamphetamine and 2.14 grams of marijuana at Chen’s house in Beijing. Chen tested positive for both drugs while his girlfriend tested positive for marijuana, according to the statement.
Chen Yufan’s business partner told Sina Entertainment he was not aware of the situation.
China has strict drug laws and the pair could face up to three years in jail for possession. In drug trafficking cases, the death penalty is often enforced.
While marijuana – one variety of the Cannabis sativa plant – is illegal in China, the country produces half of the world’s legal commercial cannabis. Rising affluence has meanwhile created a growing market for illicit drugs in China, and the government has been cracking down heavily on domestic production. In June, Quartz reported that dozens of Chinese cities were tracking drug use by testing for traces of substances like methamphetamine and ketamine in sewage water.
According to government data released in June, there were 2.5 million drug users in China last year.