BBC: Blackpink: Why a K-pop girl band panda cuddle has angered China
Thu November, 2020, Age: 3 years
Girl band Blackpink has become the latest K-pop group to come under attack from Chinese social media users, following the release of a video in which band members played with a panda cub at the South Korean zoo. Because of China’s unique panda diplomacy, all giant pandas—even those born abroad—are technically China’s property, and are considered to be on loan to host countries. Chinese users accused Blackpink’s members of putting the panda cub at risk by handling it. Some users called on the Chinese government to “bring our national treasures back,” while others told the band members to “apologize publicly” for the gaffe.
China’s patriotic netizens have grown bold, often picking fights with foreign groups or public figures who have offended their nationalistic sensibilities. Sometimes online fury can be translated into real-life effects: Last year, the NBA was shut out of China temporarily after some athletes and coaches tweeted support for Hong Kong protestors.