11 Jan – It was announced that Wang Yiren, the Chinese member of K-pop girl group EVERGLOW, will be taking a hiatus from work until next month.
In a statement made by Yuehua Entertainment on 9 January, the company stated that Yiren will be returning to China from mid-January to end of February for a short break to visit her parents whom she has not seen for a long time due to the pandemic.
At the same time, EVERGLOW will continue with their activities in South Korea as a group of five for now.
The announcement came following the recent backlash against Yiren, who did not do the traditional Korean bow during a fan meeting on 2 January. While five of her group members knelt down and bowed, the singer instead remained standing and did the fist and palm salute as a Chinese person would do to greet the New Year. This Chinese style of greeting means 'to usher in prosperity'.
While her action won her Chinese fans, who stated that Chinese people only kneel to "heaven and earth and to one's parents", Korean netizens were unhappy with this, with some questioning why entertainment companies still get Chinese idols to be a part of their K-pop groups.
On the other hand, neutral fans expressed support for Yiren, with one commenting, "It's hard for her. If she doesn't kneel, Koreans will scold her. If she does, the Chinese will scold her. It's impossible to win."