Mainland idols banned from accepting favors from fans in wake of boy band scandal

Mainland idols banned from accepting favors from fans in wake of boy band scandal

The China Association of Performing Arts has banned celebrities from receiving funds or gifts collected by fans, with offenders facing the prospect of being blocked from public appearances.

The association issued a statement saying that an individual performer, a group, their agencies or workshops were barred from launching campaigns to commercially raise funds from fans, or receiving gifts that fans provided by gathering their own funds, under the existing regulations.

The association’s moral committee would launch procedures looking into such acts and implement measures, including boycotts of the performers involved.

The Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau also issued a notice this week banning online shows from conducting sessions where viewers were encouraged to pay for items or to vote in support of a candidate.

The statements came after an incident in which fans were found throwing away boxes of yogurt drinks they had bought, only to obtain QR codes contained within to help their idols to win season three of the boy band TV show “Youth With You”.

An online clip posted in late April showed more than 10 fans opening Mengniu yogurt drinks and pouring away the contents in order to get a QR code under the bottle cap that was used to vote for their favorite contestants.

The show, produced by online video platform iQIYI, was ordered off the air by the Beijing Municipal Radio and Television Bureau. IQIYI and sponsor Mengniu were forced to apologize.

State-owned Xinhua News Agency commented that the incident showed disrespect to labor, and profiting from wastage. It also condemned the celebrity idols for not speaking up during the controversy.

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