Asia News: Charges In Hong Kong Stage Injuries, BLACKPINK’s Jennie Injured In Pyro Mishap, Wang Attacks ‘Anti-China’ Media In UK

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TAIWAN BEAUTY: Singer Jolin Tsai performs during the final night of a six-show finale of her “Ugly Beauty” world tour at the Little Arena in Taipei, Taiwan, on Dec. 31. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)


Three Charged In Stage Accident

Hong Kong police on Jan. 20 charged three people with conspiracy to defraud in relation to the accident that occurred at the Hong Kong Coliseum last summer during a concert by the local boy band Mirror in which two back dancers were injured, one critically, when a monitor suspended above the stage fell on them.

According to the Hong Kong Free Press, police have said that five people were arrested in November on suspicion of fraud for having deliberately understated the weight of the monitor. The five people were employees of Engineering Impact Limited and one of its subcontractors. On January 20, two of the employees were released unconditionally, but the remaining three, one woman and two men, will go on trial in February.

In a statement, Superintendent of Police Alan Chung said that the police believed Engineering Impact Limited “purposely made a false declaration so that it could secure a permit from the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to ensure that the series of 12 Mirror shows went ahead as scheduled,” according to the Free Press.

The actual weight of the devices that were to be suspended were different from the data supplied by the company, said Chung, so it was determined that the company had “made a false declaration deliberately, with the view to speed up the approval process for the show.” In fact, the discrepancy between the actual weight and the declared weight was as much as sevenfold.

The accident caused the remaining shows of the concert series to be cancelled, and one of the dancers is still being treated for his injuries in a Hong Kong hospital.


BLACKPINK’s Jennie Injured In Pyro Accident

Jennie, one of the four members of the K-pop group BLACKPINK, which is currently in the midst of a sold-out Asian tour, was reportedly injured during the group’s show in Bangkok on January 18.

According to local news, the timing of the production’s pyrotechnics was slightly off, and some of the fire produced by the explosions came in contact with Jennie’s arm and eyes. But while some fans could tell she was in pain, she persevered and finished the show without incident.

The sympathy the singer received from her Thai fans may have helped offset the anger directed her way by some of her Chinese fans following three earlier shows in Hong Kong.
According to various K-pop fan sites, some of the people who attended those shows accused Jennie of being unenthusiastic and sent disparaging messages to her Instagram account.

On the Twitter-like Chinese social media platform Weibo, anti-Jennie remarks trended
big, highlighted by criticism that Jennie showed a “dismissive attitude toward Chinese fans.” Videos of the show supposedly depicting this attitude were also uploaded on Twitter. Naturally, many fans, both Korean and Chinese, came to her defense, saying that the videos were doctored or fake.


Wang Slams ‘Anti-China’ Media

After Hong Kong singer and rapper Jackson Wang gave an angry seven-minute speech at his London concert on January 12 denouncing anti-China media coverage in the Western press, Wang’s profile skyrocketed in mainland China, according to the South China Morning Post.

Wang, a former member of the K-pop boy band Got7, launched a solo career in 2017 and has since become a huge star on the mainland, building a reputation “as a patriotic hero in China” due to his public demonstrations of pride about his Chinese origins. He has also become one of fashion brand Louis Vuitton’s ambassadors.

During his long London tirade, Wang slammed “propaganda bullshit” against China and encouraged his thousands of fans in the audience to visit China at least once. If they did, “you’ll feel like this is a dope place,” he said. The fans at the show seemed to approve fully of the speech, but it was back in China that the love really flowed, with thousands of people going on social media and admiring the singer. Some expressed surprise since Wang was born and raised in Hong Kong rather than on the mainland before going to Korea to become a pop idol at the age of 17.

In fact, he comes from a famous Chinese family. His father is an Olympic fencer and his mother is a world champion gymnast. Wang himself was a champion fencer when he was a teenager. Even as a K-pop star, he made sure his fans knew he was not Korean, and once, during a South Korean TV variety show when the host asked if he was from Hong Kong, Wang replied, “I’m Chinese.”

SCMP notes that China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television banned “effeminate boy bands and idol talent shows” in 2021, but nevertheless its own broadcast company, CCTV, has consistently supported Wang throughout his pop career and even cautioned him to stay safe after he said on social media that he endeavored to be “a guardian of China’s national flag.”