Chinese social media platform Weibo has begun to comply with the tightened regulations issued by the Cyberspace Authority of China just last week. On Monday, Weibo issued 30-day suspensions to 21 fan bars:
- NCT Jaehyun
- Red Velvet Seulgi
- NCT Mark
- EXO (Group Bar)
- NCT Jaemin
- GOT7 Mark
- BTS RM
- BTS J-Hope
- NCT (Group Bar)
- SNSD Taeyeon
- EXO Chanyeol+Baekhyun
- EXO Sehun
- BTS Jin
- WINNER Mino
- NCT Taeyong
- Blackpink Rose
- Blackpink Lisa
- BTS (Group Bar)
- Blackpink Lisa (The Wind)
- IZ*ONE Wonyoung
The reasoning Weibo issued the bans is for “irrational celebrity support”, most likely due to the infamous extent Chinese fanbars will fundraise in order to support their biases. Also interesting is that Weibo says this action is due to netizen reports, which could be anti’s weaponizing the new restrictions. Or it could be a scapegoat made up by Weibo.
Due to the announcements, many fanbars are quickly wrapping up or outright canceling their fundraising projects currently in progress. But the life of a stan is hard to kick cold turkey. Rest assured, Chinese fanbars will find other methods to gather online and raise heaps of money for their faves. One could even argue that raising a shitton of cash for your bias in the face of severe government punishment might be the largest proof of your undying fandom!
In non-Chinese coverage, there’s a fear that Chinese entertainers that perform overseas (read, Chinese K-Pop idols) may not be allowed to freely do so in the near future. With the scrutiny the entire C-Entertainment industry is facing, fans and industry folk outside of China fear that there will be added pressure on Chinese entertainers to only work domestically in the name of patriotism. But while this scenario isn’t out of the question, there’s nothing on the official books to indicate this yet.
Though China has always been sensitive about its entertainers that hold overseas nationality, the government hasn’t taken an official action against it yet, besides normal citizenship laws. The pressure for entertainers has always been from the public; nationalist fans are quick to root out who is and who isn’t proud of their Chinese heritage. Recently erased actress Zhao Wei is Singaporean, and American Liu Yifei did not handle her press tour for Mulan well. Recently, Nicholas Tse announced he’ll renounce his Canadian citizenship in the name of patriotism. No doubt more celebrities will follow suit.
Thus it could be interpreted that, because of the emphasis of morality/national pride in these bulletins, and the public positive reception for actions like Tse’s, the call for Chinese entertainers to sign up or get lost is all but official.
However, the current batch of articles from Korean and international press pointing this out as an impending action are baseless, all of them citing articles from Taiwanese news media, directly or indirectly. I looked for the article(s) in question and all I found was this, a user comment the equivalent of a medium.com post.
I am by no means a China apologist, but I live in Taipei, and I can tell you with first-hand experience that not even we take the news here at face value. Taiwan pundits are muckrakers, habitually prone to exaggeration and fabrication in order to stoke fear and push the blue-green dichotomy even further.
China is pretty transparent when it’s going to smack something with the banhammer (again, “flower boy” culture has been on the tongue of pundits since 2018) and I wouldn’t quite go fearing for (G)I-DLE’s Yuqi or Everglow’s Yiren quite yet.
Basically if you can’t track something down to an official bulletin or a party mouthpiece, I wouldn’t get too worked up about it.
Cai Xukun (formerly of NINEPERCENT) is releasing a new album, and his current rollout has been a lengthy presale with a track-by-track release. The legality of Cai Xukun’s album release plan was questioned by the news media, which caused an uproar from his (humongous) fanbase. Some fans accused the press outlets of taking bribes from Cai’s competition to write these articles. Consequently, Weibo suspended 9650 accounts related to the incident.
It’s been reported that many fan bars have been asked to change their name, specifically to remove the word “bar” from the group name. I’m not linking any articles about this because most I-Netz have been extremely annoying about this. But yeah, it’s most likely happening and most likely happening to your favorites. Probably without Weibo having to contact anyone.
The fate of BL dramas is still murky. The Datawin chart that shows the most anticipated upcoming dramas recently announced it will not list BL Dramas. Highly anticipated, already filmed BL’s such as Immortality (皓衣行) and Heaven’s Official Blessing (天官赐福) are still scheduled to be shown, but rumors are that scenes have been added or reshot for both series, specifically to water down the BL aspects. Both series are hugely anticipated by both domestic and international fans, so only time will tell if they pass the government’s muster.