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Raising money from young fans not right

Updated:2021-09-09 16:29:30   China Daily

Jimin Bar, a Chinese fan club of Republic of Korea-based singer Park Ji-min, last week asked his fans through its micro blog to contribute money to decorate a Jeju Air plane with their idol's images to celebrate his birthday.

They later posted photographs of the decorated aircraft and bought more than 16,000 paper cups with Park's motifs to be used on the flight. The decorations will remain in place for three months.

Since the group was seeking funds from fans, many of them minors, through the Sina Weibo platform, the Sina Weibo management blocked its online account for 60 days.

Sina Weibo did the right thing, because most of Park's fans are school students who are too young to make rational decisions and depend on their parents for money.

Also, extracting money from minors in this manner amounts to exploitation.
Fan clubs should not exploit a celebrity's fans to raise funds in this manner.
According to reports, when the fund-raising window opened in April, Park's fan club claimed to have raised 1 million yuan ($154,901) within three minutes and 2.3 million yuan within an hour.

But Jimin Bar's official micro blog account or webpage gives no details of the total funds raised or how much of it was spent on decorating the aircraft.

In the past, other such event organizers have kept some of the funds aside in the name of a "management fee", which is seen as a way of making money by exploiting celebrity fans.

The Jimin Bar incident is only the tip of the iceberg. In a statement issued on Sept 2, the National Radio and Television Administration listed the illegal buying of votes for idols, ruining the aesthetic value of society and allowing stars with criminal records to perform as reasons mandating regulation of the sector.

We hope the sector is better regulated to prevent fans from being exploited in this manner.

Keywords:   fans culture