K-pop idol B.I banned from Chinese social media Weibo and Douyin for alleged drug use
While fans all over are celebrating B.I aka Kim Hanbin’s return to the K-pop industry, Chinese fans have it tough. The former iKON leader has been banned by Chinese authorities from using their social media platforms like Weibo and Douyin for having a criminal record. Due to an informant’s claims that B.I was a habitual marijuana user, the rapper was under investigation in 2020. While smoking marijuana is mostly harmless in the rest of the world, it is considered illegal in South Korea.
The K-pop idol left his group iKON and went under the radar while waiting for his sentence. However, in 2021 he came back with a bang when it was announced that he had tested negative on a drug test. But the court shared that due to B.I’s possession of illegal drugs, they could not give him a free pass. Since he is a celebrity who influences the youth of his country and to deter his fans from following in his footsteps, the court has sentenced him to four years of probation.
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B.I banned from Chinese social media
B.I had accepted all charges and is guilty of illegal use of marijuana thrice and the illegal purchase of LSD once. And while he is free, this means that he has a criminal record. If he is arrested on similar charges again in the next four years, he will be sentenced to three years of prison. Similarly, China has also made the recreational use of marijuana illegal. On January 10, the Chinese apps Weibo and Douyin suspended B.I’s accounts. While he had a Weibo which he had been using since last year, he opened a Douyin account on January 1 in hopes of communicating more with his Chinese fans.
China’s strict laws
With China banning most international social media platforms, the country has its own apps like Weibo and Douyin which is the Chinese version of TikTok. But with several Chinese netizens looking down upon B.I for his criminal record, his Weibo and Douyin accounts have been temporarily banned. This follows the government’s ‘Rectification Movement’ in hopes of controlling the worshipping of idols and the rampant influence of pop culture in China. Stricter actions are been taken in face of former EXO member, Kris Wu’s arrest on charges of rape and NCT Lucas’ hiatus over his unethical dating scandal.
The Chinese government has also placed several banning entertainment laws in hopes of curtailing the ‘effeminate’ image that male idols allegedly promote and the excessive purchase of K-pop merchandise like mass-buying albums. They also hope to protect their youth from criminal and unethical scandals of Chinese and non-Chinese celebrities by banning them from Chinese social media platforms.