Chinese fans have been upset at BTS over their Van Fleet Award acceptance speech whereby it is believed that they neglected to consider the Chinese lives lost during the war between the two Koreas. As BTS commemorated the strong partnership between South Korean and American troops against North Korea, many patriotic Chinese believe that the speech was a sign of disrespect to the Mainland as the the Chinese and Soviet Union had backed North Korea.
Due to the fallout, BTS’s Chinese Baidu Bars have begun cancelling their pre-orders for the upcoming BE album. Baidu Bars, simply put, are Chinese fan collectives. They often run large scale bulk orders and birthday support, such as the one they did for RM in September.
In a collective statement, the Baidu bars for all 7 members have announced that they will stop pre-order sales and will further update on further procedures including possible refunds. Baidu bars often are able to draw huge sales of albums as they offer high quality fanmade goods as purchase freebies.
We will be halting pre-orders for this round, and we will be carrying out further announcements after coming to an appropriate decision regarding purchases.
— RM, J-Hope, Jimin, Jungkook, Kim Taehyung, Suga and Jin Baidu Bars
At a last count, it was previously reported that the Baidu bars collectively had over 800,000 album orders in pre-sales. Should refunds be processed, ARMYs may have a huge gap to fill with regards to sales numbers.
Chinese netizens are divided on this, with some praising fans and others claiming that this is merely a stop-gap measure.
- “Please don’t attack the fans, this decision wasn’t easy for them too.
- “It’s okay to like BTS but your country should be the first. These fans that have love for the country are really brave and good. There will be other idols that are more worthy of your liking in the future. Be good.”
- “Fans are the most hurt when things like this happen.”
- “As long as fan sites don’t close, there will be a next time.”
- “This isn’t fansites. This is Baidu bars.”
- “It’s true, because people are forgetful.”
BTS nor BigHit Entertainment has yet to make an official statement about the entire matter, although China’s foreign affairs representative has already spoken up.