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Young Beliebers of the world’s most populous nation just got some devastating news: Justin Bieber has been banned from China.
Beijing’s Culture Bureau posted a statement to its website Friday explaining that unspecified misdeeds on behalf of the 23-year-old Canadian pop star meant that he would no longer be welcome on Chinese stages.
“Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign idol,” the bureau said while responding to a fan’s request for a “detailed explanation” about the absence of China dates during Bieber’s upcoming world tour.
“As far as we are concerned, he has engaged in a series of bad behaviors, both in his social life and during a previous performance in China, which caused discontent among the public.”
Bieber is set to arrive in Asia later this year as part of his Purpose World Tour, with shows scheduled in Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. Since the tour was announced, Chinese fans have lamented the absences of dates in the Middle Kingdom.
The bureau didn’t elaborate on exactly what “behavior” had rendered Bieber persona non grata in China, but during a past visit to the country he caused a social media firestorm when photos spread online showing him being carried up the Great Wall, young emperor-like, by his bodyguards. In 2014, Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence after he was caught drag racing in a yellow Lamborghini in Miami.
Although the causes of his exclusion may be less high-minded, Bieber joins an impressive list of artists who have been barred from the stage in China. Bjork was banned way back in 2008 after calling for Tibetan independence during a concert in Shanghai. Maroon 5 and Oasis were hit with similar blocks for voicing support for the Dalai Lama, whom China views as a “dangerous separatist.” And Bob Dylan was prevented from performing in 2010 over his past (very past) links to “counter culture,” while Jay-Z was kept out in 2006 over the “profanity of his lyrics.”
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