July 7, 2023
HANOI — K-pop group Blackpink’s tour organiser on Thursday issued an apology over its use of China’s nine-dash line map, which Việt Nam considers to be an infringement of its territory and sovereignty.
During a press briefing in Hà Nội earlier on Thursday afternoon, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Phạm Thu Hằng, stated that “the promotion and usage of products or publications featuring the nine-dash line in Việt Nam is in violation of the laws.
iMe Vietnam, the organiser of the Blackpink show in Hà Nội on July 29-30, said that the map was used in its Asian regional website, and there is currently no separate website for the Việt Nam market.
“We are aware of the need to respect the sovereignty and culture of all countries where iMe is present. iMe has quickly reviewed and committed to replacing inappropriate images for Vietnamese people,” said Brian Chow, CEO of iMe.
“The map on the website does not represent any country’s territory and we are aware of respecting the sovereignty and culture of all countries where iMe is based,” he said.
The company has quickly reviewed and committed to replacing the images that are not suitable for Vietnamese people, he said.
“iMe’s goal in Việt Nam is to bring Vietnamese fans the world’s top shows and artists, so we hope to receive the welcome and support of the local government and the people of Việt Nam. We would like to express our sincerest apologies for this unfortunate misunderstanding,” he said.
The same day, the company sent an explanation document to Hà Nội’s Department of Culture and Sports and relevant agencies.
iMe is a multinational entertainment company established in 2006 with more than 11 offices across Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and the Philippines.
The website that has China’s nine-dash line map is the one for regional offices in Asia and not the official website of the company in Việt Nam.
The company does not have an official website to register domain names in Việt Nam and only operates on a number of social networking platforms with the identity of iMe Vietnam.
The Department of Culture and Sports of Hà Nội on July 4 announced that it granted permission to iMe to organise Blackpink ‘Born Pink’ World Tour Hanoi on July 29-30. VNS