An acquaintance of Cosmic Girls‘ Meiqi leaked photos of her smoking while underage in China.
In the photos, Meiqi can clearly be seen lighting a cigarette, while holding it in her mouth.
Other photos showed her clearly smoking the cigarette.
The smoking age in China is 18-years-old, which would mean that it was illegal for Meiqi to be smoking at the time. She is currently 19 years old, but the photos seem to be dated before her debut. Cosmic Girls debuted in 2016.
Surprisingly, the Korean netizens were not as taken aback and critical as they usually are with such situations.
- “I don’t know much about the Chinese culture so…if smoking among adolescents then I guess I have nothing to say…”
- “What’s so bad about smoking a little?”
- “Wow, she must’ve partied hard.”
- “Yea I’m not sure about the Chinese culture either so…”
- “Who cares. She’ll live the way she wants.”
Some seemed to dismiss the issue, claiming that it was understandable because it was China.
- “I heard even 5-year-olds smoke in China.
- “Well, if it’s China…”
- “Chinese kids smoke and drink pretty freely so it’s not that surprising…her face is more shocking than the cigarette.”
- “If it was a Korean idol, she would’ve been criticized like crazy but since she’s Chinese people are being so tolerant.”
Netizens even criticized the acquaintance for maliciously leaking her photos to ruin her image.
- “Seeing that the acquaintance leaked these photos now, it seems that person sure can’t handle seeing other people succeed.”
- “Wow…acquaintances are the scariest.”
- “What a bad friend.”
- “After winning the Chinese Produce 101, her friend must’ve been jealous seeing that she leaked the photos now…I wonder if she’ll apologize and step down. It’s over for her.”
- “What a terrible friend, now that she’s starting to get a little popular in China…”
Nonetheless, there were some who were quite disappointed at the idol’s past.
- “If it’s really Meiqi, it’s really disappointing…”
- “If she was doing that illegally…ah…”
- “WJSN Meiqi? Their group is now just starting to gain more popularity and this happens…”
- “Wtf…is this true?”
- “It doesn’t pose a problem…? She smoked when she was underage! lol it ruined her image.”
- “She had the prettiest voice in WJSN but this is shocking.”
- “Whether that’s China or Korea, she smoked when she was underage. Why’s everyone being so lenient? Is it because she’s not Korean?”
Meanwhile, Meiqi, who won first place in the Chinese Produce 101 along with Xuanyi, who won second place, is still awaiting their debut as members of Rocket Girl.
According to a Chinese media outlet, their debut showcase, which was scheduled to be held on July 11, was apparently canceled due to the dispute between Tencent and Starship Entertainment regarding the promotions of Cosmic Girls and Rocket Girls.