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Daily Drip

Chinese Fan Groups Break Records with Mass Purchase of BTS Album

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Chinese fan groups have set new records for mass purchase of a single album, after a fan club dedicated to BTS member V declared that they’d bought 150,000 copies of the Kpop sensation’s new album Map of the Soul: Persona and a China-based Jungkook group quickly topped that by ordering 161,000 copies of the record for their members.

As the Jungkook fan group’s official Twitter account explained, “Our orders were strategized to help BTS maintain longevity in K charts. We purchased on the 1st day, 3rd week and 6th week.”

The sales figures are made all the more remarkable given that BTS have not officially promoted the album in China and the Kpop group’s music is not officially available in the country. The fan groups therefore organized to enable their members to get their hands on the album, often using daigou sellers in Korea to purchase the release on their behalf.

Related:

Idol Hands: How China’s Super Fan Groups Make and Break Stars Via the Multi-Million Dollar “Fan Economy”

It’s not the first time that the Chinese “fan economy” has had a significant impact on overseas charts. In November last year, Chinese pop idol-turned-self-styled rap ambassador Kris Wu incurred the wrath of Ariana Grande and her Arianator army for storming the US iTunes charts and keeping her off the number 1 spot. It turned out that Chinese fan groups had mobilized to buy copies of Wu’s album Antares en masse in support of their idol.

Map of Soul: Persona helped BTS become the first act since the Beatles to have three number one albums in a year on the Billboard charts. The Chinese fan groups’ purchases propelled sales of the record 3.2 million copies in its first month on release.

Jake Newby
Jake Newby is a Shanghai-based writer and editor with more than a decade's experience living and working in China. Previously managing editor of Time Out Shanghai, he's also written for publications such as South China Morning Post and the Financial Times.