BTS, the K-pop supergroup, has risen to become one of the most popular music acts in the world, but just three days before its company’s Big Hit Entertainment‘s big IPO, it was hit with a stumbling block which was unexpected in the Chinese market.
A single sentence about the history of the world that has sent brands fleeing. The brand member RM said in a speech to accept the prize earlier this week from the Korea Society, a non-profit headquartered in New York, that seeks to build mutual understanding between South Korea and the United States, that they will always remember the history of pain that their two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women.
In his speech, he added that it was especially meaningful to accept the General James A. Van Fleet Award, which is awarded for all those people who have made outstanding contributions in promoting the relations between United States and South Korea this year, the 70th anniversary of the Korean War.
Although he did not mention China at all in his speech, the Chinese internet users and the state-run media were really quick to slam the comment for not acknowledging the sacrifices of the Chinese soldiers, who fought with the North Korea against the United States and South Korea.
BTS Is Being Slammed In China After Korean War Comments
#BTShumiliatedChina was trending on Monday in China, with one of the users writing that if you want to make money in this country, China, then you should consider the feelings of the fans that live in this country. The tabloid-esque Global Times trumpeted that the totally one-sided attitude of the band to the Korean War hurts the feelings of the Chinese citizens and negates the history.
Major companies like Hyundai, Samsung, Fila are already appearing to be distancing themselves from the band in China, as they are pulling ads and products affiliated with the group in what are likely the attempts to avoid the boycotts from the passionately nationalistic Chinese consumers.
A BTS collaboration special-edition purple smartphone was disappeared on Monday from the Chinese Website of Samsung and other online sales platforms of the Chinese. Though BTS has been a brand ambassador of Fila since the year 2019 and has worked with Hyundai since the year 2018, both the companies pulled the mentions of the band from their official Chinese social media accounts.