B.I, the former leader of South Korean boy band iKon, was recently banned from Chinese social media platforms such as Douyin and Weibo after Chinese K-pop fans condemned him for his history of drug abuse.
The 25-year-old rapper, whose real name is Kim Han-bin, was banned following a New Year’s Day post in which he announced he would constantly update his content on the platforms, saying, “Let’s contact more in the new year,” according to state-run Global Times.
Chinese K-pop fans familiar with Kim’s history of drug abuse in South Korea immediately condemned him. Some social media users also accused the rapper of sharing photos on Weibo after receiving his sentence late last year.
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Kim’s sentence was announced on Sept. 10, 2021, after he was found guilty of using marijuana and purchasing and using LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in 2016, according to Korea JoongAng Daily. The rapper reportedly left iKon in 2019, and YG Entertainment terminated his contract following the news.
The Seoul Central District Court gave Kim a three-year suspended prison sentence and four years of probation for illegal drug use. In addition to a fine of 1.5 million won (approximately $1,270), he was also ordered to take a 40-hour drug treatment course and undergo 80 hours of community service. “Drug-related crimes committed by a celebrity immensely affects society in the sense that it dilutes the weight of the drug crime,” the court said in a statement. “However, the defendant has admitted to all of his charges and seems to be repenting for his actions.”
Kim’s Douyin and Weibo accounts were reportedly taken down as of Wednesday, while his profile on Xiaohongshu, an Instagram-like platform in China, has been wiped clean.
China and South Korea have reportedly made the recreational use of marijuana illegal. In 2018, Korean authorities warned Korean citizens residing in Canada that they may be given criminal charges for smoking marijuana abroad once they return to their home country. “Weed smokers will be punished according to the Korean law, even if they did so in countries where smoking marijuana is legal. There won’t be an exception,” said Yoon Se-jin, head of the Narcotics Crime Investigation Division at Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency, according to The Korea Times.