Hong Kong protests: K-pop star sparks anger in China for liking a tweet about pro-democracy demonstrations


Choi Si-won, of boy band Super Junior, caused outrage among Chinese netizens and was forced to apologise


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Choi Si-won, of K-pop band Super Junior, angered Chinese netizens when he liked a tweet about the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
South Korean pop star Choi Si-won, of K-pop boy band Super Junior, has become the latest celebrity to spark anger on the Chinese internet after he “liked” a tweet about the divisive issue of pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong.
Choi was forced to apologise after liking a post on Twitter by South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo about the Hong Kong protests.
Twitter is blocked in China, but opinions that rile Beijing regularly make their way across the “Great Firewall” of censorship and go viral on Chinese social media.
Choi apologised on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform Sunday night, saying he hoped that there would soon be an end to “the violence and chaos” in Hong Kong.
“Since the controversy caused by this behaviour makes you all feel disgusted and disappointed, I express my sincerest apologies to all of you,” he wrote on his Weibo account, where he has 16.5 million followers.
Choi also unliked the Twitter post.
But the controversy had already spread, with a Choi fan group in China announcing on Weibo Monday it was closing as a result.
“No one and nothing can shake our own position about patriotism,” the group posted.
The Chinese state-run Global Times said Choi had “liked” a post that “glamorised Hong Kong rioters”.
Other online users also expressed their anger.
“(I) will not forgive you, because my country is more important,” wrote one.
Fans also accused Choi of not being sincere in his apology, and criticised him for posting it only to Weibo and not to other platforms.
Choi had already faced controversy in South Korea when a renowned restaurateur died after being attacked by his family’s pet dog in 2017.