Bad behavior: Beijing bans Bieber – China’s latest society and culture news

Society & Culture

A summary of the top news in Chinese society and culture for July 21, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.


On July 16, a Chinese fan of Canadian pop star Justin Bieber posted a question to the website of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture: “I demand a detailed explanation of why Bieber isn’t allowed to perform in China. He is a gifted singer and has received many awards.”

On July 18, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture issued a statement (in Chinese) in response:

As a public figure, Mr. Bieber has engaged in a series of bad behaviors both in his social life abroad and during a previous performance in China, which caused dissatisfaction among the public. In order to ensure order in the domestic market and clean up the performing arts market, it is not appropriate to invite artists who exhibit bad behavior… However, we still hope that as Bieber grows up, he will continue to improve his words and deeds, and truly become a singer beloved by the public.

Some internet users applauded the decision because Bieber has failed as a role model for teenagers. Others argued that it is unfair for the young star, especially given that many Chinese celebrities who have been caught using drugs or cheating on their partners have not received any punishment in their careers. “How about these people?,” a commenter wrote (in Chinese). “Why didn’t they receive the same treatment?”