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  • Katie Huang

Pianist Li Yundi was detained for hiring prostitute

Li Yundi, a China’s “Piano Prince,” was detained for hiring a prostitute on Oct 21, 2021. The Beijing police posted on the Chinese social media network. When the news popped out, it shocked the whole country. From the news report, it said the message the police sent out was, “A first message said a 39-year-old man had been detained and a suspect placed in administrative detention, with only part of Li’s name, a standard practice to protect anonymity” (Emma, Vincent). According to police, the public in Chao Yang, Beijing, reports the incident.

Li Yundi was born and raised in China. He started learning piano at the age of seven. He both studied in China and Germany. In 2000, Li Yundi won the International Chopin Piano competition aged 18, the youngest ever winner.

When the police claimed the news, people from China were shocked by that. People have divided opinions. Some people can not believe that, and one shocked online commentator wrote, “My God. Li Yundi, the piano prince”? There are over 800 million views on the news in just two hours. At the same time, the popular reality Chinese TV Show “Call Me By Fire” started cutting down the parts of Li’s performance, even removing that from the Chinese Internet. Besides that, the Chinese official musician association said that they expelled Li Yundi from their organization. In other words, Li Yundi’s career has been over in China.

Another group of people is curious about how Li Yundi and the woman can be claimed as hiring a prostitute. “I’m curious to know how the public found out about him. When you see a 39-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman go into an apartment building together, how did people know that it’s a prostitute and her customer? Why not a married couple, friends, hookup buddies?” another online commentator said, according to the BBC.

Overall, it’s a piece of big news in China. What do you think about that? Do you think the police report is accurate?


Graham-Harrison, Emma, and Vincent Ni. “China's 'Piano Prince' Li Yundi Detained for Allegedly Hiring Sex Worker.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 22 Oct. 2021,


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