12th May 2022 – (Hong Kong) On 21st October 2021, after a tip-off by public informants referred to as the Chaoyang masses, Chinese concert pianist Li Yundi was detained by Beijing police for allegedly hiring a prostitute. Under Chinese law, Li can be detained for up to 15 days and fined up to 5000 yuan for illegally soliciting a sex worker. The Chinese Musicians’ Association subsequently declared that it would revoke Li’s membership. Jerome A. Cohen, a New York University law professor specialising in the Chinese law, called the “lack of transparency” about his case “concerning”, noting that prostitution is a “time-honoured Communist Party claim against political opponents”. According to The Guardian, there has thus far been no evidence that indicates the detention is politically motivated.
Meanwhile, Li's whereabouts were unknown for 7 months. It was rumoured on social media that 3.33 million yuan (about 3.87 million Hong Kong dollars) of his property under the name of himself and his father Li Chuan has been seized. It has been pointed out that Li collaborated with a furniture manufacturer as a spokesperson in early 2021. Although the manufacturer had publicly terminated the partnership at that time, Li disappeared from the public eyes for 7 months. "The manufacturer had no options but finally decided to file a lawsuit. The court served a civil ruling and a notice of property preservation in accordance with regulations, and took measures to preserve the property of 3.33 million yuan registered in the names of Li Yundi and his father, Li Chuan. And as early as January this year, the music studio in Shanghai managed by Li Chuan has been fined about 3.43 million Hong Kong dollars.
On 16th March 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice released a document that includes a detail suggesting “the derogatory information regarding the Pianist may have been manufactured”. Multiple news sources rported that “the Pianist” is an apparent reference to Li Yundi.