Chinese state media tells BTS to ‘think twice before voicing their opinion’ after controversial Korean War comment

Tan Mei Zi
·2-min read
An English-language tabloid run by Chinese state media cautioned the boyband against angering their mainland Chinese fanbase. — Reuters pic
An English-language tabloid run by Chinese state media cautioned the boyband against angering their mainland Chinese fanbase. — Reuters pic

PETALING JAYA, Nov 30 — Chinese state media Global Times has asked boyband BTS to “think twice before voicing their opinion” after member RM made comments on the Korean War that angered Chinese social media users.

An article posted on November 25 suggested that the Boy With Luv hitmakers owe much of their success to mainland Chinese fans after they became the first K-pop group to be nominated for Best Pop/Duo Group Performance at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards.

Global Times also claimed that Chinese BTS fans, or Army, had raised millions of yuan to help the group’s single Dynamite reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“It seems that some fans have chosen to be understanding when it comes to the band, but it would be nicer if these young pop stars could think twice before voicing their opinions in public.

“Tolerance is based on respecting territorial and sovereign integrity and personal dignity.

“If the Chinese are hurt a second time, it may cause a further loss of the Chinese Army members,” Global Times wrote.

Chinese social media was up in arms after BTS leader RM expressed solidarity with the United States on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War in October.

During an acceptance speech for the General James A. Van Fleet Award, RM paid tribute to the “history of pain” shared between the US and South Korea and highlighted the “sacrifices of countless men and women” whose lives were lost due to the conflict.

RM’s words were widely perceived as an insult by Chinese social media users who branded his statement as “one-sided” and “insensitive.”

The backlash forced brands with BTS as celebrity ambassadors to axe the band’s promotional materials in China.

Samsung promptly removed the BTS Edition Samsung Galaxy S20+ smartphone from its Chinese website and sportswear brand Fila deleted a Weibo post announcing BTS’ endorsement of its products after RM’s comments began taking heat on Chinese social media.

Related Articles BTS’ ‘Life Goes On’ debuts at No. 1 on US chart in foreign language first China gave Covid-19 vaccine candidate to North Korea’s Kim, says US analyst Mystery still shrouds Covid-19 origin