TWICE, the latest girl group from JYP Entertainment, recently became the talk of the town because member Tzuyu was attacked by social media users in China.
She was verbally assaulted by the Chinese netizens for claiming her Taiwanese nationality instead of Chinese.
For those who are not in the know, TWICE is a multi-national idol girl group which made their debut in October 2015.
The 9-member girl group was formed through “Sixteen”, a reality show where a pool of 16 JYP trainees compete to secure a spot in TWICE. With their phenomenal debut hit single “Like OHH-AHH”, the group instantly became one of the most exciting girl groups of 2015.
The rising fame and affluence that surrounds them earned them 10 exclusive CF contracts. They were even nominated for “Artiste of the Year” and awarded “Best New Female Artiste” at the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA).
Just months after their debut, TWICE became the talk of the town again, but for the wrong reason.
According to Korean media outlet StarNews, the girl group was removed from Beijing’s TBV’s “Choon Wan” poster. It’s unclear whether they would still appear on the show, but producers claimed that they were never invited to be on the show.
This is in part due to the political controversy that surrounds member Tzuyu.
Earlier this week, some netizens discovered that Tzuyu’s nationality was written as “Taiwan” instead of “China”.
This immediately drew criticisms from social media users in China as they were not pleased that she chose Taiwan as her nationality. This is also because it is still heavily debated whether or not Taiwan is a separte country from China.
As such, JYP Entertainment immediately made a change to TWICE’s members’ profiles, switching the word “nationality” to “place of birth”.
Unfortunately, the damage has been done as Tzuyu’s endorsement with China’s Huawei was reportedly cancelled. It was also reported that her CFs have also been suspended.
Some Chinese netizens continued to dig up some evidence and called her a “traitor” when she was discovered holding up both the Korean and Taiwanese flag on a recording of MBC’s “My Little Television”.
Though that particular segment did not appear on the show, Chinese netizens still disapproved of her decision to hold up the Taiwanese flag.
The controversy began to affect TWICE’s promotions in China, forcing JYP Entertainment to share an official report on their Weibo on 13th January (Wednesday).
In the report, the agency said:
“Recently, there have been various malicious rumours circulating on the internet concerning one of our artistes, Chou Tzuyu. With regard to this, we are deeply regretful.
JYPE is a multi-cultural company. We have always tried to encourage and further Sino-Korea cross-cultural interaction. Our company (including Tzuyu) has never engaged in political debate and has never taken a stance regarding Chinese territorial issues.
Furthermore, Tzuyu, the victim of these malicious rumours, is merely a 16-year-old girl. She has yet to form a solid political opinion regarding Chinese territorial issues, given her age and lack of experience.
Because of the above-mentioned malicious rumours, JYPE’s everyday operations in China have been negatively affected. The longstanding cordial relationship that we have had with China has been greatly inconvenienced.
To remedy this situation, our company has decided to temporarily withdraw Tzuyu from all China-related promotional activities, until the truth regarding this matter is finally revealed.”
What do you think about the whole controversy? Do you think it’s being blown out of proportion?
We certainly hope that Tzuyu will stay strong and ignore all the malicious comments.