K-pop phenomenon BTS faces a barrage of criticism in China after the South Korean boyband cited their country’s solidarity with the United States stemming from the Korean War.
Group leader RM sparked outrage on social media in China citing the “story of pain” shared between South Korea and the United States, which have fought side by side in the conflict from 1950-53.
China came to the aid of North Korean forces during the war, which ended with an armistice agreement but not a peace treaty.
Accepting an award for the contribution of the seven-member group to US-South Korean relations, RM said, “We will always remember the story of the pain our two nations have shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women. women.
Chinese netizens responded by asking to end the group’s business interests in China, where it has at least 5 million fans on the popular social media platform Weibo.
“They shouldn’t be making money with China,” an angry user said on Weibo. “If you want to make money with Chinese fans, you have to take Chinese feelings into account. “
As reviews accelerated, posts showcasing special edition BTS smartphones and headphones, made by South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung, have vanished from Chinese e-commerce platforms Tmall and JD.com.
BTS-related posts from other companies, including sports fashion brand Fila and South Korean automaker Hyundai, which have endorsement deals with the group, have also disappeared from their official Weibo accounts. It was not immediately clear who deleted the messages.
“Chinese netizens have said that the group’s totally one-sided attitude towards the Korean War hurts them and denies the story,” Chinese state newspaper Global Times noted in a report. tweeter.
Describing the United States as the “aggressor” of the war, the newspaper quoted a Chinese fan who had decided to leave the group’s fan club in protest. “There were thousands of Chinese soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the war… so I decided to get angry and quit the boy band fan club to clearly express my attitude,” the fan said.
The Korean War legacy feud erupted days after an online BTS concert drew a huge global audience and unfolded as the group landed the top two spots on the main singles chart. from Billboard.