Prada drops popular Chinese actor over surrogacy row

Italian luxury fashion house Prada has severed ties with a popular actor from China, days after her partner accused her of abandoning their two US-born surrogate children.

Prada went public with its announcement on Tuesday after the brand was criticised on social media for appointing 30-year-old Zheng Shuang as their brand ambassador.

«The Prada Group has terminated all cooperation with Ms Zheng Shuang,» the company said on its official Weibo account, without providing further details.

The surrogacy controversy erupted on Monday, after Zhang Heng, the former partner of the actor took to social media, accusing Ms Zheng of abandoning their two children born to a US-based surrogate mother, when they ended the relationship over a year ago before the birth of the children.

The news took social media by storm with the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China denouncing her for turning to surrogacy.

“Surrogacy is banned in China as it uses women’s uteruses as a tool and sells life as a commercial product,” said the commission in a post on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, reported South China Morning Post. “As a Chinese citizen, the act of travelling to the US on a legal loophole is not abiding the law.”

Though surrogacy is illegal in the country, the law does not say anything about going abroad to have surrogate children.

Without delving into the accuracy of the accusations, the actor took to social media on Tuesday and said: “It’s a very sad and private matter for me.»

Prada is not the only international brand to have distanced themselves from the actor, following the criticism from the public. Chinese cosmetics brand Chioture, London-based jewellery brand Lola Rose and hair care brand Aussie have also terminated their contracts with Zheng, reported South China Morning Post. 

A feature on Zheng in the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar was also said to have been removed from their official Weibo account, reported Global Times.

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