After slamming BTS for its Van Fleet Award speech, now Chinese netizens are targeting top Korean pop band for its links to pro-Hong Kong sentiment. Many comments on Weibo stated that Chinese customs officials have blocked BTS merchandise from entering the country.
Netizens spoke about Be Water, a luxury water brand promoted by BTS and said that the brand supports Hong Kong protesters. Comments stated that Hong Kong protesters fighting for freedom are also using Be Water as their slogan. "BTS used their new album "BE" as a concept and released bottled water, known as "Be Water". However, "be water" is a slogan used by those who are fighting for Hong Kong's independence," one of the comments read.
Koreaboo cited a fansite which stated that the Chinese customs is not accepting anything with BTS package. Any product having BTS brand is not being cleared by the customs officers in China. BTS fansites were seen commenting that they are not able to order anything including albums that have BTS packaging. However, there is no official intimation about rejecting BTS merchandise in China.
Joshua Wong Writes in Support of BTS
A netizen also pointed out that Joshua Wong, leader of the group fighting for Hong Kong's freedom from China had recently tweeted in support of BTS. Joshua Wong is a famous activist and pro-democratic leader of Hong Kong had taken to twitter to support BTS against negative comments from Chinese netizens.
"In fact, the speech didn't even mention #China, nor anything against it, but nationalist trolls have already treated it as an insult," said Wong in his tweet. He went on to openly support BTS and continued: "When our BTS leaders are under unreasonable attacks during these difficult times, we #ARMYs everywhere around the world should stand with them and express our relentless support." He also added #BTSARMYS #FOREVERBTS to his tweet.
It can be noted that some days ago, FILA and Samsung China had taken down everything regarding BTS from their official website. This action came following BTS' speech after receiving the Van Fleet Award. Chinese netizens alleged that BTS had praised USA for helping South Korea during Korean War and that it had indirectly neglected the sacrifices made by Chinese soldiers.