Amid strong controversy in China over BTS's Van Fleet Award speech, there has been a case of BTS-related content being censored in local university lectures.
Although Chinese officials made a gesture to resolve the controversy by stating that BTS has no relation to the nation's official statement, however, it seems that the censorship of BTS was carried out even at places for education.
On November 16th, Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported that a Korean professor at the Sichuan University-Pittsburg Institute, the university co-founded by Sichuan University and Pittsburg University in China, was asked to omit the content about BTS in her lecture on K-pop's soft power. Professor Jeong Ah Reum (37) was scheduled to give a lecture on K-pop's soft power at the graduate school last month. However, she refused to give the lecture after being told by the school authorities to remove parts related to BTS.
Professor Jung stated, "I was angry that the school authorities were trying to censor the lecture because of absurd claims made by (Chinese) chauvinists." The professor refused to give the lecture stating, "I will not censor myself."
Last month on the 12th, China's nationalist Global Times newspaper sparked conflict when BTS won the Van Fleet Award. BTS won the award for their contributions to the development of South Korea-U.S. relations. During the award ceremony, member RM made a statement about the 70th anniversary of the Korean War that Chinese netizens took issue with.
Since then, Chinese internet users have been attacking the group, which caused Korean companies such as Samsung to remove all BTS advertisements from the Chinese web.
The South China Morning Post introduced Professor Jung's incident with the title of 'What happens when Korean K-Pop meets with the Chinese Communist Party?'. The article reported that K-Pop is still a political 'Hot Potato' but the Chinese authorities amid China's numerous millennials being fascinated with K-pop.
In 2016, China put a ban on the "Korean Wave" due to the THAAD conflict. Although the ban has been lifted, it seems that there are still restrictions against Korean celebrities.
Meanwhile, professor Jung told Yonhap news, "I was told it was okay to talk about the global popularity of BTS and K-pop during my special lecture. Then I was told to remove all contents about BTS after the incident of the Van Fleet Award."
The professor added, "I explained that BTS had done nothing wrong. However, the school authorities continued to make the same request, so I refused to give the special lecture."
When asked if the impact of BTS's acceptance speech was still huge in the Chinese education community, she replied, "I'm not sure. To be honest, I wouldn't have known how big the impact was if it wasn't for this incident about my special lecture."