China's Twitter-like platform Weibo suspended 22 K-Pop (Korean pop) fan accounts over what it described as “irrational star-chasing behavior.” The move appears to be part of a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry.
Followers of one of the banned accounts raised funds for Park Ji-Min, a member of K-Pop band BTS, on his 26th Birthday to customize a plane. Weibo said the move was “illegal fundraising.”
The company added that it “firmly opposes such irrational star-chasing behavior and will deal with it seriously.” It continued to vow to “purify” discussions on the platform and “regulate community order.”
The account that crowdfunded for the BTS member was suspended for 60 days, while the others were penalized with 30-day suspensions.
The move appears to be part of a wider crackdown on the entertainment industry, which, a few weeks ago, saw one of China's most prominent actresses Zhao Wei effectively deleted from the internet.
Last week, a couple of government agencies said they would ban broadcasts by “vulgar internet celebrities,” including “feminine-looking men,” because they promoted values contradicting the country's values.
A few months ago, in June, the government's internet censor, the Cyberspace Administration of China, announced the measures it would take to “clean up” the “chaos” created by celebrity fan clubs. Among the measures the internet censor announced was prohibiting activities encouraging kids to contribute money to celebrities and ranking celebrities based on popularity.