SINGAPORE - Homegrown singer JJ Lin has had no shortage of run-ins with netizens the last few months, and is now suing a netizen for defamation.
A Chinese law firm, Shanghai Jiuze Law Firm, which says it is representing Lin and his agency JFJ Productions, has begun legal proceedings on behalf of the 40-year-old singer against a person called Xie Minghao.
According to a statement posted by the firm on Chinese social media platform Weibo on Friday ( Feb 18), Xie was "suspected of infringing on the reputation and rights" of Lin by posting false statements about him.
However, Lin's case against him is suspended for now as Xie is already involved in legal proceedings for "other crimes" and will resume later.
The statement ended by warning netizens that "cyberspace is not an extrajudicial place" and reminded them that they could not speak with impunity.
The statement does not specify the allegations, but Xie had made a Weibo post last August saying that "bad actors JJ Lin and Wilber Pan have taken drugs, lured others to take drugs, evaded taxes, and raped women".
That same month, Shanghai Jiuze Law Firm had called out 28 different online accounts - including Xie's - that had "maliciously published/spread false statements against Mr JJ Lin".
The online gossip mill had been in overdrive then after Chinese-Canadian singer Kris Wu was detained by Beijing police in the wake of rape allegations by a Chinese influencer.
Some online media in China previously claimed that Wu had mentioned the names of other male celebrities in an attempt to protect himself, with Lin and Taiwanese-American singer Pan among them. There were also claims that Wu, Lin and Pan had hung out together.
In a separate incident, JFJ Productions issued a statement in December after Lin was tagged in strange, rambling Weibo posts full of insinuations. "We do not respond to those with ulterior motives in spreading rumours," it said.