Taiwanese idol Lai Kuan-lin apologises for smoking and spitting

Lai Kuan-lin is a former member of the now-disbanded K-pop boy band Wanna One. PHOTO: OFFICIAL_LAI_KUANLIN/INSTAGRAM

Taiwanese idol Lai Kuan-lin has apologised after he was photographed smoking, not wearing his mask properly and spitting on the road by Chinese media.

The 19-year-old is a former member of the now-disbanded K-pop boy band Wanna One, which was formed through the second season of South Korean talent competition Produce 101 (2017). He is expanding his career in China and was caught by the paparazzi there when he pulled his mask down to his chin to smoke.

The photos caused an uproar in the online community in China, as bad hygiene and poor mask-wearing practices have been frowned upon amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

A contrite Lai responded on Weibo.

In the first post on Tuesday (Nov 24), he wrote: "I'm sorry, I did not properly control my actions and provide a good example as a public figure. I will accept everyone's criticisms of me and never do anything similar again."

In another post later that same day, he uploaded an image of a seemingly handwritten note. "Even in places where people can't see me, I should have held myself to a higher standard. To do something so inappropriate is a part of myself I have to improve. I will remember my mistakes and resolve to change."

As to a fan's claim that Lai has a secret girlfriend, he wrote: "As for my personal life, if there's happy news, I'll let everyone know immediately. But right now, I would like to work hard and focus on my career."

The comments on his posts are largely negative, with fans saying they are disappointed and "giving up" on him.

Some felt betrayed by Lai supposedly dating behind their backs. Others asked him to experience sweeping the streets, in response to his spitting.

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