AKB48 x 環球時報 ‘Learn How To Establish Popular Idol Group From Japan’s AKB48’

  April 25, 2012
AK98, China’s alleged imitation of AKB48
AK98 is a official PR face for Weibo, also an alleged imitation of facebook and twitter
 Chinese Communist party’s official paper 環球時報 publish an article on AKB48 on 24th issue paper. In this article the paper mentioned a concept of AKB48, “idol who you can meet”, with which the group have gotten firm fan base and goes onto form their sister group throughout Asia and keep continue expanding it’s popularity at rapid pace, stating China should learn this iconic child of modern Japanese pop culture.

The article analyzed the difference from other conventional idols is that AKB smashed established conventional idea that idol groups normally have 3 to 5 fixed members. They added AKB’s is clever at coming up with drastic events such as holding Revue in their exclusive theatre, or variety of shake-hands events, which turned fire on their popularity in South East Asia.

On upcoming kickstart of SNH48 from Shanghai, which is managed by a joint venture of AKS and Chinese company, the paper emphasized that despite some Chinese people see this move as cultural invasion of Japan, Chinese music industry must take this as an opportunity to learn how Japanese (= Dentsu) will establish business model to create idol groups in China.

Japanese Netizens responded to this article
AK98, which became famous for their imitation of AKB is backed by Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter 新浪微博), where people of China can relatively enjoy freedom of speech, which even Communist party feel a threat from it’s enormous scale(300 million registered users) and power.
In the recent fatal accidents of high speed trains, Weibo rendered huge pressure to Chinese government who tried to conceal the information.

On the contrary, it’s rumored that one relative of a high-ranking figure in Communist party, which invited AKB48 to China, is working for Dentsu.
AKB48 team just announced the new project in Shanghai to startShanghai-based idol group SNH48.

This is not just about a battle between idols but a proxy war between new media and the rule of  communist party.

Source Sankei

Poster of Shanghai-Japan-Week
AKB48, who was featured in this event