China is not targeting any country with fan culture crackdown – embassy

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China’s crackdown on “fan culture” is aimed at maintaining public order and will not affect its relations with any country, the Chinese embassy in South Korea said on Wednesday.

The government has launched a multi-pronged crackdown on a broad range of sectors including the entertainment industry and what authorities describe as a “chaotic” celebrity fan culture, and its influence on young people and social order.

The embassy said it was responding to concern in South Korean media about the campaign, which has led to Chinese social media platforms suspending accounts set up by Chinese fans of South Korean pop stars.

“China’s actions are aimed at all words and deeds that may impact public order, customs as well as laws and regulations, and will not affect normal exchanges between China and any country,” the embassy said in a statement.

The embassy said South Korean media was “worried about the impact of cultural exchanges between China and South Korea and even believe that China’s relevant measures are aimed at South Korea”.

China’s Weibo social media platform this week suspended more than 20 fan accounts for major K-pop acts such as BTS, Blackpink and EXO, saying that they were responsible for spreading “irrational star chasing content”.

Under the campaign against fan culture, social media platforms can no longer publish lists of celebrities and fan clubs must be regulated, the internet regulator said.

It has also banned variety shows from charging fans to vote online for their favourite acts and discouraged people from buying celebrity merchandise.