Knetz ask SM 'why are they obsessed with China' after aespa Ningning's Nike shoes blurred

Knetz ask SM 'why are they obsessed with China' after aespa Ningning's Nike shoes blurred
Knetz think SM blurred Ningning's Nike shoes because the brand is boycotting China (@aespa_official/Instagram, SMTOWN/YouTube)

Aespa (stylized as aespa) fans are tired of having to constantly protect and defend Ningning as she has once again come under fire for a decision that wasn’t even hers. Previously, she was slammed by Knetizens for congratulating her hometown, China at the Winter Olympics and for not greeting fans in the Korean way. One furious Korean user went as far as to hack her personal Instagram account. And now, in a YouTube video, many Knetizens noticed that the Chinese idol's shoes from Nike were blurred out which has made them angry.

Many have often condemned China for the inhumane attack on the Uighur community while the country has denied all claims of torture. The Xinjiang region is responsible for most of the cotton in the West but brands like H&M, Burberry and Nike have taken to boycotting it. In response, several Chinese celebrities were forced to terminate their brand deals with these companies so as not to irk the Chinese authorities. And while foreign companies don’t need to follow suit, Knetz think that it looks like SM is doing so to placate their Chinese audience.

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Ningning's Nike shoes blurred

Two months ago, SM uploaded a mini-documentary for their remastering project of restoring old music videos. Well, aespa was chosen to do a cover of S.E.S’s ‘Dreams Come True’. In the first episode of the documentary, we see the team discussing the song and the choreography with BoA visiting aespa while they were practising. During the dance practice, Ningning’s Nike shoes have been blurred out. It should be noted that agencies blur out brands that are not endorsing the artist. However, on March 14, a Knetizen noticed it and made it go viral on Korean platforms.

Ningning (in white pants) wears Nike shoes for practice (SMTOWN/YouTube)

Users are angry that SM is trying to play it safe and not alienate their Chinese audience by blurring out Nike which has publicly been boycotting Xinjiang cotton. Some netizens went as far as to say that SM should only stick to Korean idols since Chinese idols cause trouble for them. One Knetz commented, “The most popular members anyway are Korean members.. I think SM just pushed Winter and Karina, so why are they so obsessed with China?” Another user posted, “At this point, I want to know how much is SM’s sales in China… They are really crazy about China.” Another user said, “The Chinese member doesn’t care about her country and wears Nike shoes, so why should SM care about it?”

'Isn’t it common practice'

However, international fans feel Knetizens are being unfair and tweeted, “Or maybe they're just protecting their artist from upcoming hate comments.. cnetz can be vicious.” Another pointed out that blurring out brand logos was quite common for all idols, “Huh? isn’t it common practice for labels to blur brands they’re not officially endorsing.”

Another posted, “I’m still kind of annoyed at how their issue is having Chinese idols when it’s these companies making sure those idols bring them their money from China It’s clear these companies are only using them for that hence why they’re putting in the effort, there’s still a market there.” One exasperated fan said, “People just be using any reason to hate on aespa…Did ningning ask sm to do it??...Please know where to exert  ur anger.”






Watch the episode below.



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