KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — K-pop star Kim Han-bin is the latest celebrity to face the wrath of unforgiving social media users in China.
Kim, a former member and leader of K-pop boy group iKON, had on New Year’s Day announced on his Sina Weibo account that he would be using Douyin and Xiaohongshu, Global Times reported.
“Let’s contact more in the new year,” the artiste reportedly wrote.
The post got Chinese social media users all riled up and those who knew about his drug abuse scandal in South Korea questioned if he should be allowed to be active on Chinese social media platforms in view of his past action.
Following backlash, Kim’s Sina Weibo and Douyin have been banned while his contents on Xiaohongshu have vanished.
Kim, popularly known as B.I, was in September last year given a three-year suspended prison sentence and four years of probation for using drugs.
A former fan of the group, who left the fan club after reading about B.I’s past behaviour, said no matter where entertainers come from, they should obey the law and social regulations.
“For those who have violated the law and were trapped in scandals, platforms should not let them speak out in front of the public without any punishment,” the fan, identified as Feng, reportedly said.
Celebrities found to be involved in drugs are known to be boycotted in China.
The performance of Chinese singer Li Daimo in East China’s Anhui Province, was cancelled in October 2021 for his role in a drug scandal in 2014.
The authorities of Bengbu, in Anhui Province, were informed that Li, who was involved in drug deals, was going to perform at a local bar.
Investigators rushed to the venue and ordered the bar to stop the performance.
Taiwan-born actor Kai Ko’s comeback has also been boycotted by Chinese social media users following his arrest in 2014 in Beijing for taking drugs.
“Celebrities who took drugs should be permanently banned from public sight,” said one unidentified social media user, noting that drug enforcers risked their lives to protect the people from drugs.