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Prada has terminated its contract with Chinese actress Zheng Shuang who found herself at the center of a surrogacy controversy this week after alleged details of her life went viral on social media.
Zheng’s former partner on Monday accused her of abandoning two surrogate children in the United States in a post on his Weibo account, according to Chinese newspaper, The Global Times.
News of the alleged surrogacy was met with uproar in China, where surrogacy is illegal, although wealthy citizens may travel abroad to pursue it.
Amid the internet fury, the Italian fashion house made a brief announcement on its Sina Weibo account on Tuesday, a social media platform in China that is similar to Facebook and Twitter.
The post simply said that Prada had “terminated” its cooperation with the 29 year-old actress. The Global Times reported that news linked to the scandal and surrogacy content on Weibo achieved 4.2 billion views on Tuesday.
Zheng has not confirmed or denied the report.
The outlet said birth certificates for children born in December 2019 and January 2020 in the United States were shared online, and the documents reportedly show Zheng’s name and that of ex-boyfriend Zhang Heng.
The Global Times also claimed that a recording had leaked online in which the actress expressed dismay that it was too late at seven months to terminate the pregnancy of her second child.
Neither the documents nor the recording have yet been verified as authentic. Zheng has pleaded for privacy, saying: "I didn't violate any state order on Chinese soil. Overseas, I've abided by all laws and rules."
The Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission accused the actress of taking advantage of US law in a Weibo post and said surrogacy exploited women and used their uteruses as “commodity.”
CCTV’s official Weibo account further called her actions “outrageous” and showed a “heinous” disregard for human life for abandoning the children in a post that garnered more than 6.7 million likes and 216,000 comments, many of which criticized Zheng’s actions.
China formerly enforced a strict one-child policy for most families, but the rules were later relaxed in 2013.