K-pop singer Tzuyu cancels China activities after Taiwan flag scandal

SEOUL - The agency of teenage Taiwanese singer Tzuyu is cancelling her activities in China after the member of multinational K-pop group Twice entered a controversy over her waving of the Taiwanese flag during an online broadcast.

Tzuyu, also known as Chou Tzu-yu, had waved the flag of the Republic of China in an online-only segment of South Korean variety show My Little Television last November, said South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Controversy erupted recently after Taiwan-born, pro-China singer Huang An drew attention to the segment on Weibo and accused Chou of promoting Taiwanese independence - a political flashpoint in the mainland - amid talk that she would appear on Anhui TV's Chinese New Year show.

She has since been cut from the broadcast and Chinese smartphone vendor Huawei has also cancelled her endorsement for the South Korean market, said Taiwan Apple Daily on Thursday (Jan 14).

Her agency JYP Entertainment has defended her from what it says are false online rumours, said reports by Yonhap and China's NetEase website.

It denied that Chou, 16, is involved in Taiwanese indepedence. She is a minor and what she has said does not constitute a political view, it said. It said that it is a "cultural corporation", has no political agenda, and cannot choose between China and Taiwan.

"We feel extremely regretful about this controversy," it said, adding that it will suspend the singer's engagements in China until the scandal eases.