In a statement on social media platform Weibo, Fu Jiayuan said she had lied about her gender to become a member of YGN Youth Club’s boot camp.
YGN Youth Club is a talent management company that only recruits boys in the 11 to 13 age group and trains them in singing and dancing to become future pop idols.
In her apology Fu said that she had lied because she was young and ignorant, BBC reported. She apologised to her fans and vowed to never join the entertainment industry again.
Fu’s apology has drawn comparisons on social media to Chinese folk lore Mulan, which was also captured in a Disney film.
According to Chinese legend, Mulan was a young girl who dressed as a man to save her country and protect her family.
Fu was not an official member of the band and only a member of the YGN Youth Club’s boot camp. However, she did appear in training videos shared on social media.
After Fu’s apology, the company said that her inclusion was due to negligent staff. It also said that the mistake had been made because auditions were held virtually due to the pandemic. It has promised to adhere to its own rules and regulations in the future, reported BBC.
Last month, China’s national broadcaster, the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) cracked down on shows that promote “effeminate styles”, in a bid to control content it regarded as “unhealthy.”
Studies have estimated that the Chinese pop idol industry is a multi billion pound industry where companies like YGN Youth Club are coveted by families who want their children to become famous pop stars.