On June 1st 2016, models in Shanghai were arrested for not having valid work visas, according to several model witnesses. Police came in to a casting and arrested roughly 30 models and bookers.
Models from top Shanghai agencies Esee and Freshlook were also at the scene but were safe due to holding legal work permits.
Many questions remain unanswered as to who tipped off police and why.
Two years ago, a similar situation broke-out in Beijing and Guangzhou that also had multiple models arrested for working illegally.
Not holding a work visa has been the custom for many years, up until recently, and now agencies finally have come together to provide models with work visas.
Many models working illegally are freelancers. Their lower rates and increasing numbers are believed to be responsible for undercutting rates by nearly 50%: from 1200RMB an hour (approximately 200USD) to 500-550RMB an hour (approximately 90USD).
We will continue to update this post as more news comes in. If you have any information to share you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
Until then, stay safe everyone.