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Taobao, Alibaba deny rumors of K-pop products ban

By Deng Xiaoci  (Global Times)    08:32, August 16, 2016

Vendors from China's largest e-commerce platform, Taobao, and its parent company the Alibaba Group on Monday denied rumors that K-pop merchandise and Korean celebrities' names are banned from appearing on the platform during the G20 summit amid soured China-South Korea ties.

"So far, there has been no notice from Alibaba to remove the names and pictures of Korean pop stars we are using for promotion," a vendor who specializes in customizing high-end K-pop-style sweaters told the Global Times on Monday.

Some influential Sina Weibo accounts reportedly claimed that merchandise related to Korean entertainment - including K-pop-style clothes, pictures, videos and pop stars' names - are not allowed to appear on China's e-commerce platforms, including Taobao and Tmall, especially during the September G20 summit and the "Double 11" online shopping festival in November, ebrun.com reported.

An employee from the public relations department of the Alibaba Group told the Global Times that Taobao has not imposed a ban on Korean merchandise or similar products and terms. Several vendors also confirmed with the Global Times that they have received no such notice.

Previous social media posts said that vendors could still sell K-pop merchandise as long as they withdrew pictures of K-pop stars and their names from promotional materials and submitted to supervision by authorities, ebrun.com reported.

Those posts had been deleted as of press time on Monday.

The incident is the latest in a string of reports on boycotts protesting the deployment of the US' Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea. In an earlier poll on Sina Weibo, over 300,000 Net users voiced their support for the Chinese media watchdog's reported actions to limit South Korean entertainers' activities in China.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Yuan Can,Bianji)

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