The popular Chinese boy band Nine Percent has disbanded after just 18 months together, causing many fans to express sorrow over the group’s separation. The group rose to fame in 2018 on the hit TV singing competition show Idol Producer. Their first album To the Nines earned more than 10 million RMB in China.
As an indicator of the band’s official dissolution, netizens have pointed to the status of former group members on Baidu. Before, searching a performer’s name on the search engine returned a result with a prominent box indicating that he was a member of Nine Percent. Now, reference to Nine Percent appears only lower in the detailed description of each former member.
Nine Percent rocked the Chinese entertainment industry in the few months they existed, experiencing a truly meteoric rise in popularity in the short time since the group’s formation. Fans of Nine Percent are estimated to have generated some 20 million RMB of Idol Producer’s revenue, a testament to China’s booming “fan economy.”
A recent internet feud between fans of pop legend Jay Chou and fans of Nine Percent’s lead star Cai Xukun also became a top-trending topic on microblogging platform Weibo and a subject of heated generational debate.
Idol Hands: How China’s Super Fan Groups Make and Break Stars Via the Multi-Million Dollar “Fan Economy”
After the apparent split, the band’s former members posted a group selfie on Weibo with the text “Forever?,” while the group’s official Weibo account posted a “graduation photo.” Many fans took to Weibo to post tributes to their beloved boy band and express sorrow over the breakup.
“Today is the first day after your dissolution. Yesterday I was crying so much it was like rainfall,” wrote one commenter on Weibo.
Another netizen wrote: “Although [Nine Percent] was dissolved, it will always be in our memory, impossible to replicate.”
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