Model Gigi Hadid on Friday announced that she will no longer be walking in this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai.
"I'm so bummed I won't be able to make it to China this year," she wrote on Twitter. "Love my VS family, and will be with all my girls in spirit!! Can't wait to tune in with everyone to see the beautiful show I know it will be, and already can't wait for next year! :)."
While Hadid gave no reason for the reversal, reports suggest she pulled out following an online video showing her apparently making a slant-eyes face sparked criticism in China.
In the clip posted by her sister Bella Hadid in February, Zayn Malik's girlfriend is seen holding up a Buddha shaped figure, and imitating the religious figure by squinting her eyes. Gigi apologised on China's Twitter-like Weibo on September 1, declaring her "respect and love for the people of China".
Hadid, who was number five on Forbes' list of the world's highest-paid female models last year, earning $9 million, had expressed her participation in the show in August.
The announcement is the second apparent snag to hit the U.S. lingerie maker's A-list underwear extravaganza set, following reports that three Russians and one Ukrainian model had failed to obtain Chinese visas.
Hadid's pull-out would be a dampener for the fans of Victoria's Secret, which opened its first flagship stores in the country this year. The once high-flying brand is trying to boost growth with a push into China's growing intimate-wear market.
L Brands Inc, the corporate parent of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, has had a tumultous year so far after third-quarter same-store sales came in sharply lower as it tries to adapt to changing consumer preferences.