Due to the new regulations on strengthening the activities of fandoms issued by China’s Government, Weibo has suspended the account of Jimin’s Chinese fanclub.
On September 5, a large Chinese fansite of Jimin (BTS) was suddenly banned from posting on Weibo for 60 days and had to delete their post. This news surprised fans because this fansite is working on a significant birthday project for Jimin, which is also the reason why the fansite received a warning.
Specifically, BTS member Jimin’s Chinese fans raised large sums of money to fly an airplane covered with Jimin’s photos. The airplane was planned to take to the sky in 3 months to celebrate Jimin’s 26th birthday.
Jimin’s fans have already raised money on the portal Baidu to celebrate his birthday in April.The amount raised exceeded 1 million yuan (180 million won) in 3 minutes and over 2.3 million yuan (about 400 million won) in an hour.
As criticism poured in online after the news of Jimin’s fans’ birthday event, Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, suspended Jimin’s fan account (@朴智旻JIMIN_JMC) for 60 days. They also deleted posts related to birthday events. When entering Jimin’s fans’ Weibo account, the phrase ‘This user account has been suspended due to violation of the rules’ appears.
The name of this account was ‘Jimin Bar‘, but it was changed to ‘Jimin JMC’ according to the regulations of the authorities the day before. In China, the word ‘bar‘, which means gathering, was removed from the name of the fanclub.
The incident occurred amid China’s strong crackdown on celebrities’ fandom. Earlier in June, the CCP’s Central Internet Safety and Informatization Committee announced that it would focus on cracking down on activities that encourage underage fans to support fundraising and consume large amounts of money, and to close related accounts and groups. On the 27th of last month, the plan was also announced to strengthen the management of disorderly fandom. The Central Propaganda Department of the Communist Party of China also issued guidelines on popular culture management on September 2, including warnings about fandom’s fundraising activities and the need to strengthen education. However, maybe it’s not the only reason.
Before that, BTS had also received a lot of hate from the Chinese after the leader RM caused controversy with his comment about the Korean War last October. Some C-netizens even labeled BTS as an ‘anti-China group’. Since then, several logistics companies in China have stopped shipping BTS-related products.