Theories on Chinese government regulations to simple technical issues
[MHN Jung Halim reporter] Tiktok, a social video sharing app that is gaining popularity with the Chinese youth, has suddenly blocked the accounts of Korean aritsts that were directed to their Chinese fans.
According to Chinese K-POP fans, in July 14th the official accounts of multiple Korean stars were blocked in Douyin, the Chinese local version of Tiktok.
The currently known blocked accounts of these Korean artists are TWICE, Rain, MAMAMOO, IZ*ONE, Sunmi, Hyeona, and more.
Currently, searching these names on Douyin does not sjow the related accounts.
The Chinese fans who have followed these accounts have have only the account names remaining on the following list, with the profile pictures removed and not being able to access the accounts as well.
These Korean artists had several hundred thousand followers in Douyin.
Douyin has currently not released any statement on why these accounts have been banned.
A Douyin representative has only stated, "Normally, an account only becomes banned when multiple reports on the account's content has been received."
Chinese fans have given confused reactions towards the bans. An account by the name of 'IRIS*' posted a frustrated response, which translates to, "Whats happened. Why is Korea restricted. What's the reason."
Currently in the Chinese mainland, the leading theory is leaning more towards a technical error from furthering internet regulations, rather than something similar to the THAAD crisis a year ago.
With more Chinese people moving towards Douyin and other internet platforms, the Chinese government has been moving towards further regulating these platforms with the excuse of 'low quality and overly commerical content'.
Related to this, there have been theories on whether the bans have been a result of the government moving towards stopping foreign accounts that target local Chinese people.
One Chinese foreign correspondent stated that with Korean-Chinese relations improving, and with China showing favorable movments towards Korea, it is unlikely that the bans are the result of the Chinese governmental body.
However, there have also been complaints that after restrictions put on Chinese activities by Korean stars after the THAAD conflict, it has been much harder to communicate to Chinese fans, and that there has been no communication of any kind after working hard to connect with fans through Douyin is not taken positively by both Koreans and Chinese fans alike.