HONG KONG - Hong Kong actor Nicholas Tse and Chinese actress Zhou Xun have been secretly dating for a year, recent media reports have alleged.
But although both parties have denied the rumours, saying that they are 'just neighbours', Hong Kong's Next magazine reported that it was Zhou who made the first move.
The love affair has garnered interest because their ex-partners are now married to each other. According to Apple Daily, their romance has been likened to a game of romantic musical chairs.
Tse's ex-girlfriend is singer Faye Wong, 43, who is married to Zhou's ex-boyfriend, actor Li Yapeng, 41.
Next magazine added that since the news broke, Tse has moved out of his apartment which is in the same building as Zhou's, to stop the rumour mill from going into overdrive.
But others say it may also be a decision made by the artistes' management companies to protect their image.
According to reports, Tse was introduced to Zhou six years ago by Chinese actor Chen Kun in Beijing, who is good friends with Zhou.
The trio would regularly meet up whenever Tse was in Beijing.
Next cited sources as saying that since the pair regained their single status in recent years, Zhou decided to 'seize the opportunity'.
Said the insider: "During meal times, Zhou would be extra attentive to Tse, everyone around could see it. But Tse would keep his distance to avoid an awkward situation."
Tse's long-time friend, singer Joey Yung, has also been quizzed on the purported romance.
She would only wryly reveal: "Tse loves Mandarin and the Beijing accent; I've met Zhou."
» The big love swop