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Before BLACKPINK’s concert in Hanoi, Vietnam has inspected the tour organiser’s website, amid criticism from fans that it shows a map of the South China Sea with disputed boundaries.
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In response to a scene allegedly showing the ‘nine-dash line’ used in Chinese maps to illustrate Beijing’s claims over vast areas of the South China Sea, including Vietnam’s continental shelf, Vietnam banned Warner Bros’ highly anticipated film Barbie.
It was reported late on Wednesday that the Vietnamese culture ministry had ordered an inspection of the iME website to verify suspicions that the company organizing the BLACKPINK music night promoted a “cow-tongue line”.
It was not immediately clear what the results of the inspection might be. A date for announcing its findings was not immediately available.
There was no immediate comment from BLACKPINK’s management company, YG Entertainment.
Brian Chow, CEO of iME, said in a statement late on Thursday that the incident was an ‘unfortunate misunderstanding’.
“iME quickly reviewed and replaced the images that are unsuitable for Vietnamese,” Chow said in the statement, adding that iME respected all countries’ sovereignty and culture.
After the statement, the iME website was still unavailable, but a cached version seen by Reuters shows nearly the entire South China Sea is covered by the nine-dash line.
There have been territorial disputes between China and Vietnam over a possible energy-rich stretch of the waterway. Several times, Southeast Asian countries have accused Chinese vessels of violating their sovereignty.
BLACKPINK, a cornerstone of South Korea’s multi-billion dollar entertainment industry, is the latest to court trouble in Vietnam for depicting China’s controversial nine-dash line, which was ruled invalid in an international arbitration ruling by a court in The Hague in 2016. This ruling has been refused recognition by China.
In response to complaints from Vietnamese internet users, the culture ministry moved to remove the nine-dash line from the organiser’s website.
The tickets were purchased for me and my date. I quit when I saw the cow-tongue. On Facebook, Tu Anh Xinh, a BLACKPINK fan, wrote: “I am a patriot.”.
World-famous K-pop girl group BLACKPINK will perform in Vietnam for the first time on July 29-30, having been granted a government license that required them to comply with government regulations.