BEIJING - Jaycee Chan, the son of kung fu movie star Jackie Chan, was released from jail in China on Friday after serving a six-month sentence on drugs charges, state media said, having been caught up in the government's aggressive anti-narcotics campaign.
The official Xinhua news agency said he was let out in the early hours of the morning having completed his sentence, taking into account time already served since he was put in detention in August.
According to Chinese web portal NetEase, Jaycee Chan gave journalists the slip by getting into the back seat of a waiting car in the wee hours of Friday morning (Feb 13) at Dongcheng District Detention Centre.
The car was reportedly speeding and running red lights in order to dodge the media, who later attempted to stop the car at a toll booth. It was reported that some journalists suffered minor injuries when the driver sped off.
The younger Chan, a 32-year-old actor and singer, was formally charged in December with "the crime of sheltering others to take drugs" after testing positive for marijuana, with police saying they found 100 grams of the drug at his home. He faced a maximum prison sentence of three years.
He is expected to hold a news conference in Beijing on Saturday.
Celebrities have been a major linchpin in the government's campaign to get tough on drugs.
Jaycee Chan is among a string of other mostly B-list celebrities detained last year by Chinese authorities on drug-related charges that have been publicised widely in both state and social media. They have included movie and television stars, film directors and a prominent screenwriter.
Illegal drugs, especially synthetic substances like methamphetamine, ketamine and ecstasy, have grown in popularity in China in tandem with the rise of a new urban class with greater disposable income.
State media has reported that Jackie Chan felt ashamed of his son's drug abuse and hopes that one day he will speak out about the dangers of taking drugs.
The older Chan had served as a goodwill spokesman for the China National Anti-Drug Committee in 2009, promoting anti-drug education.