Chinese fans call for calm concerning EXO member Chen's decision to get married

By Yi Nuo Published: 2020/1/19 22:46:35

Photo: Screenshot of EXO member Chen's YouTube Channel

"Love is not an excuse to 'kidnap' entertainers. Fans should stay rational and respectful instead of stepping foot into celebrities' personal lives," an administrator of the biggest Chinese fanbase of EXO member Chen, the China Baidu KimJongdaeBar, told the Global Times in an interview. 

Chen is the stage name of 27-year-old South Korean singer-songwriter Kim Jong-dae, who debuted with boy band EXO as the main vocalist in 2012. The hashtag FansProtestToRequestChenWithdrawFromEXO began trending on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo on Sunday. The call for Chen's removal from the band came after he and his agency SM Entertainment announced on January 13 he was engaged and his fiancée is pregnant, according to reports.  

This news kicked off an "earthquake" among the star's fans, with some saying they felt betrayed by the star or were worried that Chen may dim EXO's popularity as a team. 

Rising with the international surge of the boy group, Chen enjoys a high popularity in China. The Chinese fan club for Chen has over 1.4 million followers on Sina Weibo. Chinese fans have given him the Chinese nickname Xiaochen, which means "morning star."

The Chinese fan club translated Chen's announcement and posted it on Sina Weibo as soon as it was released. Although many netizens expressed surprise, most of the star's fans left messages of congratulations and good wishes in the comments, which earned more than 14,000 thumbs up.

The fan club also released a statement of support for Chen on Thursday, saying that "No matter what kind of path Kim Jong-dae takes in the future, China Baidu KimJongdaeBar will continue to be with him, supporting and cheering for his music career as always."

A loyal Chen fan whose online name is More'Happiness' told the Global Times that she agrees that Chen's decision may affect the development of EXO, but that EXO is not just a name but all the members that form it.  

"I hope fans aren't self-assertive and arrogant to request something we have no right to do," said the fan.

The administrator told the Global Times that after the news, the fan club's membership has not dropped. Chinese fans have also continued encouraging other EXO fans to increase the ranking of EXO's latest album Obsession for the 29th Seoul Music Awards and ignore malicious movement against the star in Chaohua, a superior hashtag that allows netizens with the same interest in one topic to share information on Sina Weibo. 

Posted in: MUSIC

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