Hong Kong says no visa application filed by Seungri amid nightclub reports

Former boy band Big Bang member Seungri leaves the Seoul Central District Court in Seocho District, southern Seoul, on Jan. 13, 2020. [YONHAP]

The Hong Kong government said that it has not received a visa application from former Big Bang member Seungri after local news outlets reported that he was to open a nightclub in the region.

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported Friday that the Hong Kong government did not receive a visa application from “a former Korean artiste,” according to a government spokesperson, who did not directly identify Seungri by name.

The spokesperson also added that Korean nationals can stay in the region for up to 90 days without a visa and that “said person” did not apply under the talent admission scheme as well.

“The relevant government departments will, in accordance with the established mechanism, play a robust gatekeeping role when processing applications under the talent admission scheme to ensure that only the applications of eligible persons will be approved,” the spokesperson said to SCMP.

Hong Kong media outlets recently reported that the former Big Bang member, who went behind bars for charges related to the Burning Sun scandal, purchased a luxury house in the region and is planning to open a nightclub, following the BBC Korea’s hourlong documentary released on May 19.

The singer, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, debuted as a member of the boy band Big Bang under YG Entertainment but left the band in March 2019 after he was exposed for involvement in the scandal that broke in late 2018, exposing the illicit activities of celebrities, including Seungri and Jung Joon-young, which resulted in criminal trials.

Seungri was initially given a three-year sentence in August 2021 by a military court for offering women for sex to potential investors, gambling overseas and embezzling money from his nightclub, Burning Sun. However, his sentence was reduced to a year and a half by the Supreme Court, citing his admission to all his crimes and regret for his actions.

He completed his prison sentence in February 2023.