On August 14, EXO‘s Lay, also known as Zhang Yixing, trended on Twitter for posting a tweet that garnered mixed reactions from fans.
相信国家 反对暴力 希望中国香港平安🇨🇳 pic.twitter.com/mukHmeGBqI
— Lay Zhang (@layzhang) August 14, 2019
His tweet disapproved of the Hong Kong protests being done by the country’s citizens.
Yixing's post translation:
Believe in the country, oppose violence, hope for peace in Hong Kong, China
(Image) I support Hong Kong police, fight me/you can fight me
— J (@exomyeonmeow) August 14, 2019
On one hand, some fans are expressing disappointment that he is defending the Hong Kong police who, incidentally, are being accused of police brutality. This comes during a time of strong protests from citizens who are demanding for greater democracy from Mainland China. Hong Kong is currently part of a “One Country, Two Systems” policy with China.
I am disappointed Lay, you don't know how much Hong Kong citizens wants to keep their rights to democracy. You don't know how much that thing means to them. I may be your fan but I'm more than willing to put down my exo-l self just to support those Hong Kong nationals. https://t.co/bB5FIeWJC3
— B Y U N S L A V E ❌ | jonanawhatthefck? (@BananaByun56) August 14, 2019
Protests began when the Hong Kong government introduced an extradition bill that citizens feared would erode the country’s judicial independence. Among others, they are now calling for the complete withdrawal of the bill and to investigate alleged police brutality, including their firing of tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.
Seeing the situation between China and Hongkong with the Hongkong police being this “👌” close to harassing the protestors again cause they want to silence the people, what Yixing is right now is an enabler for the Chinese gov. This is just as bad as the Priyanka C. incident. https://t.co/q9dzkXZTMw
— nikita capistrano🌻 (@nikscapistrano) August 14, 2019
Fans believe that as a celebrity, he has the power to use his influence for the good.
hi I came back bc I saw yixing’s ig post n ngl im very disappointed. I really hope he doesn’t think that way and he was forced to do this? that’s just me thinking the teeny tiny light of the situation. yixing is a top celebrity and he should know he has a big influence.
— t (@asapsehuns) August 14, 2019
On the other hand, many are also pledging their loyalty and support to Lay. They point out how he is a major celebrity in Mainland China and thus may not have full control over his actions.
First off I would like to ask everyone before you voice your opinions to also consider that China doesn’t allow freedom of speech like the USA.Secondly please be well informed on not only the current situation with HK but ask how celebrities are sometimes forced to be involved
— Yeollie (@Chanyeol3clover) August 14, 2019
everything that yixing does have good intentions that come from the bottom of his heart, so many things that happen are not within his control, let the man breathe.
— for yixing ♡ (@eternallyixing) August 13, 2019
i don’t wanna see anyone talk about what yixing should and should not do. you have no idea what his situation is, if his & his family/surroundings’ safety is compromised, what is happening with him. how about we just make no comment on this thank you
— dm locked (@bucheonsbabe) August 14, 2019
In related news, Lay has also reportedly cancelled his contract with Samsung Electronics for damaging China’s “territorial integrity.” The news went viral on Weibo being viewed 840 million times after it was posted.
[Translation] 190813 Yixing Studio Weibo Update: the studio makes a statement on terminating contract with Samsung Mobile pic.twitter.com/tJ6vxPwvFo
— 张艺兴吧✩XingPark (@XingPark) August 13, 2019
Lay has also warned one of his latest and biggest endorsers, Calvin Klein, to respect Beijing’s “one China” policy after it implied that Taiwan and Hong Kong are independent countries. Lay‘s representatives stated, “”He is against any acts or words that split his country.”