Ministry Orders Investigation into BTS Chart-Rigging Claims

The South Korean government has announced an investigation into allegations of sajaegi marketing against BTS. Sajaegi, which means “bulk buying” in Korean, typically involves acquiring large quantities at a discounted price. In the South Korean music industry, sajaegi manipulates charts through unethical practices.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism received a petition demanding an inquiry into HYBE’s alleged chart-rigging practices from 2017. The government responded to netizens’ concerns after an old court case resurfaced rumours of illegal marketing.

Fans Demand HYBE Protect BTS from Defamation

Fans have been vocal in defending BTS against these allegations. Recently, Korean fans organized a protest to pressure HYBE into action. They delivered wreaths of flowers, traditionally used for condolences, to HYBE’s headquarters in Yongsan District.

The flowers contained messages denouncing the company. Fans also took out full-page newspaper ads, stating, “We support BTS, not HYBE.” They accused HYBE’s founder Bang Si Hyuk and CEO Park Ji Won of using BTS as “shields” against criticism.

HYBE Faces Multiple Allegations Amid Controversy

HYBE is currently engaged in a feud with ADOR CEO Min Hee-Jin. Netizens have accused BIGHIT MUSIC, a HYBE subsidiary, of manipulating music sales. They have also linked the label and BTS to the meditation company Dahn World, speculated to be a cult. Despite denying these claims, BIGHIT MUSIC has taken steps to address defamation against its artists. The situation highlights the ongoing challenges and controversies within the K-Pop industry.

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