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BTS, Blackpink fan accounts banned in China by Weibo

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No one is safe in China, no matter how famous you are. The latest victims in China’s celebrity crackdown have tens of millions of fans. If you go after the K-Pop fans, you must be feeling pretty invincible.

Chinese social media network Weibo has banned 22 fan accounts dedicated to Korean bands, including BTS and Blackpink, as part of a broader government crackdown on celebrity fan culture.

The latest action comes after one BTS fan account, which had 1.1 million members, crowdfunded for a stunt to celebrate Park Jimin’s 26th birthday. According to Al-Jazeera, the group raised $US150,000 within three minutes and $US360,000 within the hour.

The money went towards wrapping an entire Jeju Airplane with Jimin’s image as well as a celebratory message. According to The New York Times, Weibo said it was suspending the account for 60 days for supposed illegal fundraising and what it called “irrational star-chasing behavior”.

Soon afterward, Weibo suspended 21 other fan accounts for 30 days. Between the accounts, millions of fans have been caught in the crackdown. Weibo’s move comes as the Chinese government turned its attention to celebrity and pop culture as part of a suite of social controls in the 100th anniversary year of founding the Chinese Communist Party.

Last week, the government’s National Radio and Television Administration issued a series of dictates which tightened controls on TV content it said was “unhealthy”. It included a ban on what it views as “effeminate men”, criticizing male actors who wore “excessive” make-up.

The ban also extended to reality TV shows that voted off contestants, unless a live audience did the voting, and talent search TV competitions or “idol audition shows” that groomed the next generation of stars.

It encouraged TV programs that would promote socialist, traditional, or patriotic values and that actors and celebrities with the “wrong” political or moral values should not be featured in projects.

It also struck out at “vulgar internet” celebrities as it condemned online fan culture as “chaotic”. Earlier, the government banned online rankings of stars.

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About author
Tristan McCue is a 26-year-old junior programmer who enjoys reading, binge-watching boxed sets, and appearing in the background on TV. He is smart and friendly, but can also be very evil and a bit lazy.He is an Australian Christian. He has a post-graduate degree in computing.
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