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Edward Lai Kuan-lin’s Announcement of Career Change Sparks Controversy

On June 14, 2024, Actor Edward Lai Guanlin announced on Weibo that he would be shifting career paths and that his Weibo account would henceforth be managed by his staff, prompting widespread speculation. Some netizens wondered if this indicated his “retirement from the entertainment industry,” while others believed he might be transitioning to a directing career.

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In the afternoon of the 14th, Edward Lai posted on his Weibo account: “After careful consideration, I will be changing my career path. Due to changes in my career plans, starting today, this account will be managed by my staff.” His Weibo profile avatar was also changed to a completely black image.

This move sparked a flurry of speculation among netizens about whether he was leaving the entertainment industry, and the hashtag #LaiKuanlinRetires” quickly topped the Weibo trending list.

Born in 2001 and only 23 years old, some fans speculated that he might be “retiring from the industry” to date, as he has been the subject of multiple dating rumors. Late last month and on June 12, he was seen by the media behaving intimately with a young woman, sparking rumors of a relationship.

It’s known that Edward Lai has previously stated on a show that he went to company auditions “just to make money” and that he “never found a sense of self-identity in acting and singing, not even for a moment.”

After he posted this controversial Weibo message, many fans expressed their discontent in the comments, accusing him of “not caring about his fans” and “completely giving up.”

Another speculation is that Edward Lai Guanlin might be transitioning from acting to directing, a direction that has some supporting evidence. Previously, Edward Lai won the “Monthly Competition” Best Director Award at the Rome Independent Film Awards for his short film “EM CHU EM NIE ZI BO.” Last year, he was spotted attending the fourth round of the Beijing Film Academy’s directing department exams, but there has been no news of him enrolling since then.

As of now, neither Edward Lai nor his staff have provided any further responses.

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