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Chinatown’s favorite cop revealed as Netflix star’s boyfriend

Officer William Ma of SFPD talks with attendees at Chinatown Night Out event in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, September 7, 2022. | Justin Katigbak for The Standard

A beloved San Francisco cop was revealed as the boyfriend of a Netflix reality show star.

William Ma, a popular police officer who used to patrol Chinatown, is the boyfriend of Kelly Mi Li, a star of the Bling Empire series based in Los Angeles. They are expecting their first baby in the coming months.

The long-distance relationship raises questions on whether Ma will relocate to Southern California. But sources close to Ma told The Standard that he is not planning to leave the San Francisco Police Department.

Neither Ma nor Li could be reached for comment.

Li, the star of the Bling Empire show that follows the lives of wealthy Asian Americans, announced the relationship and her pregnancy last year but didn’t disclose who her partner was until Ma’s identity was first reported by People Magazine Tuesday.

Ma, a Chinese American who speaks fluent Cantonese and Mandarin, is a well-known figure in the local Asian community and online for his good looks and regular appearances on Chinatown’s streets. He moved from the patrol beat to police headquarters last year to work on citywide community engagement.

SFPD officer William Ma speaks in Cantonese at the 2023 AAPI Summit in San Francisco on Feb. 15, 2023, explaining the San Francisco Police Department's community engagement work to Chinese-language media. | Courtesy video

Ma’s recent public appearances include Chinatown’s 2023 AAPI Summit event in mid-February, where he talked to Chinese media about his recent work.