Chinese trainee Huang Zhi Bo first rose to fame in the Chinese survival show ALL FOR ONE, ranking in ninth place. He gained 180,000 followers on Weibo and was one of the most popular contestants of the show. Signed with Yuehua Entertainment, eyes all around the Chinese music fandom have been on this young man, waiting to see what he would do next.
On the 4th of February, Zhi Bo posted this message on his Weibo, showing support for the medical workers, doing their best to fight against the recent Coronavirus outbreak.
The text reads:
The most amazing frontline medical staff who have been working tirelessly have had it hard. We will work together to defeat this virus. Wuhan, jiayou! China, jiayou!
*Jiayou is a way to cheer on, similar to the Korean "Hwaiting!", meaning "Persist!" or "Do not give up!".
However, on February 13th, the Shanghai Police Station has revealed that Huang Zhi Bo has been arrested and is under investigation for fraud. In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak with face masks selling out almost as soon as Chinese shelves have been stocked, he has been selling face masks to the public and then not showing up where he promised to meet the buyers to give them their goods after taking their money. He is reported to have sold ¥280,000 ($40,110) worth of the masks. The police have determined that he did not have the masks in his possession in the first place.
Zhi Bo was arrested on the 5th of February and questioned by the police about his activities. He is currently in detention.
Zhi Bo joined Yuehua Entertainment in 2019 after reportedly being a trainee under Big Hit Entertainment in South Korea, the company of K-Pop mega-stars, BTS.
Yuehua Entertainment released the following statement regarding Zhi Bo:
We would like to make the following statement with regards to All For One contestant Huang Zhibo, who is being investigated by the police for illegal activities. As per our contract, the company has terminated Huang Zhibo’s contract as a trainee. We apologise for the negative impact on society, and we will leave all matters in the police’s hands. Huang Zhibo’s actions are against our company’s policies and beliefs, and our company is strongly against any actions that take advantage of the current situation to cause harm to society.
On the 16th of February, his sister came forward on her brother's Weibo account to explain that her brother did what he did due to their Father's extreme medical bills. You can see her statement below.
The investigation is still ongoing, but according to Chinese media, Zhi Bo could face 8-10 years in jail if he is found guilty. A follow up will come depending on the outcome of proceedings.