Oct. 13 (UPI) -- BTS fans are coming under physical attack in China following Chinese state media condemnations of the South Korean boy band, according to conversations on social media platforms.
South Korean news service News 1 reported Tuesday people in China seen with BTS-themed phone cases are being assaulted, after Chinese state tabloid Global Times claimed on Twitter BTS "hurt the feelings" of the Chinese public with their message about shared U.S. and South Korean sacrifices during the Korean War.
According to the South Korean press report, a social media user on Chinese platform Weibo came under attack on the streets for carrying a BTS phone accessory.
The victim suffered a fractured leg and may have received facial scars and bruises during the alleged altercation. The social media user also said a visit to a hospital was required following the attack.
The online post was followed by verbal censure, according to News 1. Some Chinese commenters said the victim "deserved" the injuries for supporting BTS.
BTS was recently presented with the James A. Van Fleet Award from The Korea Society in New York, and band member RM had said in an online message the band "will always remember the history of pain that [the United States and Korea] shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women."
RM made no mention of China. Chinese state media may have encouraged the view the band "ignored the sacrifices of the Chinese people," according to News 1. China at the time fought against South Korea and the U.S.-led United Nations Command during the war.
The Chinese government could be censoring critical commentary of BTS amid the controversy. According to Yonhap, the Global Times' main Chinese-language site had deleted recent BTS-related articles. English-language Global Times continues to make the articles available online, however.
A South Korean source in Beijing told Yonhap Chinese authorities could be trying to calm the public because Beijing does not want the issue to cloud China-South Korea relations.
On Tuesday, BTS songs "Savage Love" and "Dynamite" landed the No. 1 and No. 2 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.