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July 29, 2017

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Are young Chinese celebrities any better than the banned ‘bad boy’ Bieber?

CANADIAN pop star slash bad boy Justin Bieber was recently banned from performing in China by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture because of his “bad behavior.”

Sure, he’s been a bit of a brat in the past, smashing up hotel rooms, attacking photographers and being carried up the Great Wall by a group of bodyguards (I’d do the same thing! Have you seen how steep some of those steps are?). But I really wanted to know: How do his antics compare with those of some young Chinese celebrities?

It’s not hard to find instances of the Biebs and his bad-boy ways — a quick Google search brings up screeds of examples. That’s probably what the bureau of culture did, too, when he applied to come here with his Purpose World Tour.

“Justin Bieber is a young foreign singer who is talented at singing but also controversial,” they told a fan who asked them why he wasn’t allowed to perform here. “Therefore, it’s not appropriate to bring in artists who show bad behavior.”

So, what about Chinese celebrities? Just how bad are they? My first investigation was into the TF Boys — if you’ve seen them before, you’ll know what I mean when I say they look like trouble — like they’d probably rough you up a bit if you were unfortunate enough to come across them on a dark street.

Who am I kidding? That angelic teen boy band couldn’t hurt a fly, and they definitely weren’t going to give me any dirt. In fact, one of the first pieces of information that came up in my investigation was about the group’s leader, Karry, and how he managed — while keeping up with all of his commitments as a TF Boy — to achieve a respectable score in this year’s gaokao, or national college entrance examination. 438!


After the TF Boys left me disappointed, I thought of one of the faces that is slapped across advertisements on every street corner and subway station (KFC, Canon, Ofo, the list goes on). The hugely famous actor, brand ambassador, and ex-K-pop singer Lu Han. Not a chance. In fact, the biggest scandal lately has been a discussion that he may have a wife and child, which of course would break millions of hearts across China. Not really what I’d call “bad boy” behavior.


Maybe I should stay away from the angelic-looking ones, I thought. They’re just too well-behaved to give me any juicy examples of bad behavior. But just when I was about to think up some local bad boys to investigate, I saw the handsome face of singer and actor Li Yifeng in my mind’s eye.

“Don’t bother, Andy,” I thought, but my hands and Baidu had other ideas. Wow, let me just say that I was shocked to finally come up with some solid dirt on one of these famous pretty boys! Are you ready?

It turns out that last year, butter-wouldn’t-melt Li was involved in a hit-and-run of sorts! Wow! It was May 27, 2016, and our boy was apparently racing his Lamborghini through the streets of Beijing’s Chaoyang District when he lost control and slammed into a pillar.

But it doesn’t end there! He then quickly departed the scene without notifying authorities and arranged for his car to be stealthily removed by tow truck. Quite the scandal!

And the gold just kept coming!

You know Jackie Chan? Yeah, the actor that pretty much everyone loves. Well, turns out his son, Jaycee Chan, was involved in a celebrity drug scandal in Beijing a few years back, which not only brought shame to the Chan family, but also pulled down popular young Taiwanese actor and heartthrob Kai Ko.

So, you see, it’s not just the troubled young Justin Bieber that has a colorful past — and present. Chinese superstars — except the TF Boys, of course! — also have skeletons in the closets just waiting to jump out.

Thankfully, though, Beijing Bureau of Culture sees the talent in little Biebs and haven’t ruled out him coming to perform in China in the future, if he can clean up his act.

“We hope that as Justin Bieber matures, he can continue to improve his own words and actions,” the Bureau said, “and truly become a singer beloved by the public.”

You can do it, Justin!


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