Korean pop band BTS is facing criticism in China over statements made by a member regarding the Korean War.
The band’s leader, RM, has mentioned South Korea’s shared “history of pain” with the US over the 1950-53 conflict, in which two countries clashed together.
Chinese social media users expressed anger over his statements, as China supported the North in the War.
Korean band BTS has a vast fan following in China. It has at least five million fans on China’s social media site Weibo.
However, RM’s remarks have also affected commercial matters. Various ads from companies like Samsung, sports brand Fila and car manufacturer Hyundai, featuring BTS, were removed from many Chinese websites or social media sites.
RM’s comments came after the boy band achieved an award celebrating relations between the US and South Korea.
“We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together and the sacrifices of countless men and women,” he said.
However, Chinese fans expressed outrage over the remarks. One internet user commented on Weibo, “They [BTS] should not make any money from China,” “If you want to make money from Chinese fans you have to consider Chinese feelings.”
According to the Global Times, a state-run newspaper with a nationalistic perspective, “Chinese netizens said the band’s totally one-sided attitude to the Korean War hurts their feelings and negates history”, adding that the comments were designed to “play up” to US audiences.