It seems like the criticisms that Chinese netizens are pouring out over BTS, who honored Korean War sacrifices, have gone over the line.
Global sensation BTS has won a prestigious Van Fleet Award in recognition of its contribution to strengthening Korea-US relations. By the end of their acceptance speech, BTS’s leader RM said, “We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women.”
And now, Chinese netizens have hit the ceiling over what he said, forming a public opinion that the BTS intentionally ignored and undermined China. They are even criticizing Chinese ARMY, stating, “If you like BTS, you’re a traitor.” One Chinese media even reported, “Without knowing the history, BTS insulted China by disrespecting the Chinese soldiers who were killed during the war.” Hashtags like “there are no idols that come before my country” and “BTS humiliated China” started trending in China.
Shortly after the controversy sparked, companies started to remove any traces of BTS from Chinese websites and social media. Samsung’s BTS purple smartphone disappeared from the website, Fila’s Weibo account removed all images of BTS, Hyundai Motor Group erased every advertisement and reference to BTS.
On Oct. 12 (local time), NYT also reported this incident. They wrote, “It seemed an innocuous remark from a wildly popular boy band known more for its open-armed inclusiveness than for any overt provocation. But when the leader of the Korean pop group BTS acknowledged the shared suffering of Americans and Koreans during a recent ceremony commemorating the Korean War, internet users in China wasted no time registering their offense.”