China’s iQiyi to cancel pop idol shows in the next few years

Chinese most-watched video streaming platform iQiyi is going to cancel its pop idol shows in the next few years.

This move came after Chinese authorities strongly criticised idol shows featuring “unhealthy fan culture” because of Chinese actor Kris Wu’s recent detention for suspected rape. He has been accused of predatory behaviour towards underage fans.

Before Kris Wu’s scandal, iQiyi’s pop idol show “Youth with You” was dropped before the finale of the show due to its controversial voting system that caused fans to buy thousands of sponsored milk products to support their idols. Weibo also shut down its celebrity ranking to urge fans to support their idols more rationally in August.  

The emergence of pop idol shows has led to concerning idol worship. Some fans have been buying idol merchandise and gifts, voting for their idols, and donating under the idol’s name to charities. According to the National Supervisory Commission, China’s idol market is expected to reach 140 billion RMB ($21.6 billion) in 2022.

The cancellation of pop idol shows has sparked a heated discussion on Weibo with a related hashtag becoming a trending topic on the platform. “#iQiyi will cancel pop idol shows in the next few years” #爱奇艺将取消未来几年偶像选秀节目# hit 490 million views on Weibo.

“The real meaning of the talent show is for the platform to make money.”

“I spent so much money on casting my idol back then, but he didn’t make his debut.”

Comments from Weibo users

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