August 15, 2023

Blackpink Faces Backlash from Chinese Netizens After Macao Performance - Controversy Resurrects 'Hallyu Restrictions


Popular K-pop group Blackpink faced a wave of backlash from Chinese netizens following their remarks about their Macao concert. After concluding their performances on the 20th and 21st of last month, Blackpink expressed their gratitude on their official social media accounts. They wrote, "We were deeply touched by our Macanese BLINKs this week" and continued, "Thank you for your sincere support. It was a blessing to be able to be with all of you."

for 600million views on youtube

The issue arose from their use of the term "Macanese," which Chinese netizens took offense to, as it distinguishes between China and Macao. Negative comments started flooding social media platforms, particularly Weibo. One comment on Blackpink's official Weibo account saying, "Macanese? Chinese!" received over 12,000 likes. Other comments such as "If you don't know how to spell 'Chinese' in Macanese, I'll teach you," "Macanese? YG should hire Chinese people," and "Do you want to fight with Chinese?" gained significant attention and support.

Macao, while returned to China from Portugal in 1999, holds a special administrative region status with a high degree of autonomy under the "One Country, Two Systems" principle. However, recent developments under the "One China" policy have strengthened the Chinese Communist Party's governance while diminishing the autonomy of residents.

As the attacks from Chinese netizens continued, Blackpink modified the mentioned part to "Macau BLINKs" on all their official social media accounts on the 29th of last month.

Despite this action, a Chinese state-run media outlet published an article on the 31st, stating, "K-pop girl group Blackpink caused controversy by referring to Macao fans as 'Macanese.'" The English version of the Chinese state-owned Huanqiu Shibao, Global Times, conveyed the opinions of Chinese netizens, stating, "Although Blackpink issued an apology, netizens' criticism remains." The article further mentioned that "Some netizens believed that Blackpink deliberately avoided using the term 'Chinese' and did not append 'China' after 'Macau,' which they considered disrespectful." It also noted, "Many people called for a boycott of Blackpink."

Furthermore, the article added that "Chinese media generally refer to people from Macao as 'Macao residents' or 'Macao people,'" emphasizing that the use of the term "Macanese" is not common.

Dressed up

Amid the deteriorating relationship between China and South Korea, there are speculations that China is trying to reintroduce "Hallyu restrictions." Actor Jung Yong-hwa, who planned to appear on a Chinese variety show, had his appearance abruptly canceled during his visit to China. Recently, China also experienced disruptions in accessing the Naver services, one of Korea's major portal sites. Chinese online media expressed, "It has been confirmed that 'Hallyu restrictions' have not been lifted."

This article is sourced from Chosun Ilbo

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