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Debut of 9-and-under boy group Panda Boys criticized by netizens
Published on: 2021-08-27
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The debut of the Panda Boys, a new idol group formed by young Chinese boys all under 10 years old, on Friday has become the target of criticism on Chinese social media, prompting the band's agency to issue a statement on Saturday that netizens described as "sugar coating."
 

The extremely young boy band's debut swiftly became a trending topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, with many netizens expressing concerns that while the boys - the youngest 7 years old - may be are gifted in music and dance, they still are too young to be thrown into the complicated arena- the entertainment industry.
 

"Does this suggest that the next boy group that debuts has to include children in a nursery?" posted one netizen on Sina Weibo.
 

The mountain of criticism may have been too much as the group's agency Asia Starry Sky Group issued a response on Sina Weibo on Saturday. Besides describing itself as a "children's education explorer that is full of passion," the agency also clarified that the company does not treat the young boys as "money-making tools" and that it requires the members to prioritize their studies over band training.
 

Even though the statement attempted to address netizens' concerns, due to the agency's business nature and the fact that it has signed up school-age boys, discontented netizens said that while the company has "sugar coated" its intentions to make money, they believe the boys will likely be "exploited" because "young idol" is another word for "profit" in the current idol industry.
 

On Tuesday, the young idol band's agency Asia Starry Sky Group stunned netizens by announcing that the group that had just debuted on Friday had been officially disbanded.
 

平均年龄8岁 “天府少年团”,出道四天宣布解散

近日,ASE亚洲星空娱乐公司推出出一个以八岁左右小孩子的艺人团体,受到网友质疑。
 

偶像组合“天府少年团PANDA BOYS”在成都发布单曲宣布出道。这个组合由七名男孩组成,成员的平均年龄只有8岁,最小的7岁,最大的也仅有11岁。
 

天府少年团的经纪公司发文回应网友质疑:“公司不是把孩子当作赚钱的工具,而是孵化具有时代意义的新一代少年榜样。他们当中不仅有学科代表,还有三好学生!”
 

引发争议后,天府少年团随后改名熊猫少儿艺术团,改名也还是难逃解散命运。
 

20号宣布出道,24号解散。4天限定,出道即巅峰啊,平均年龄八岁的少年天团偶像,一年级还啥都不知道呢就开始搞这么一套。

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