September 06, 2021 12:52
Chinese fans of boy band Bangtan Boys, also known as BTS, have been banned from Weibo for 60 days for trying to raise money for member Ji-min's birthday.
The fans were punished for trying to raise money to put up birthday messages for Ji-min on airplanes and in newspapers.
The fan club, which boasts 1.16 million devotees of Ji-min, posted a photo on their fan site on Saturday of a Jeju Air plane covered with birthday messages and a photo of their idol. They had already paid for the ad, which Jeju Air will feature over the next three months to mark Ji-min' birthday on Oct. 13.
The message will also appear on boarding passes and paper cups on the budget airline, and the fans want to put similar ads into the New York Times and Times of London.
Chinese media reported that the fan club collected more than W400 million in just an hour of fundraising (US$1=W1,157). When that stirred up controversy on Chinese social media, Weibo froze the fan club's account for 60 days because it "violated social commitments."
The measure coincides with a crackdown announced by Chinese authorities on Aug. 27 that bans any online fan clubs or groups that have not been authorized by the increasingly paranoid regime.
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