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“I just need one more shot, second chances,” Justin Bieber sings on his latest album.
Not least, it seems, with Chinese authorities who have announced the Canadian pop idol will not be allowed to perform in the People’s Republic because of his on and offstage antics.
Bieber will jet into Asia later this year as part of his purpose world tour with shows scheduled in Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. But Beliebers in mainland China look set to be disappointed.
In a statement posted on its website this week, Beijing’s culture bureau explained that unspecified misdemeanours meant the artist, who has had repeated run-ins with the law – including for drunken drag racing in a yellow lamborghini was unsuitable for Chinese ears.
“Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer,”said the bureau, which was answering a fan’s demand for a “detailed explanation” about the former teen star’s absence from Chinese stages.
“As far as we are concerned, he has engaged in a series of bad behaviours, both in his social life and during a previous performance in China, which caused discontent among the public.”
The bureau did not detail the exact behaviour that had landed Bieber in its bad books, saying only that in order to “purify” China’s performing arts it had decided the singer’s exclusion was appropriate.
The singer performed in China as part of his Believe tour, in 2013, raising eyebrows when he was pictured being carried up the Great Wall of China by his bodyguards.
In 2015 Los Angeles band Maroon 5 were forced to scrap shows in mainland China after the group’s keyboard player sent birthday wishes to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama. In 2009 Oasis were barred after guitarist Noel Gallagher performed at a free Tibet concert in New York.
His brother Liam now appears to have been forgiven and is scheduled to play solo shows in Beijing and Shenzhen next month.
Beijing’s culture bureau made it clear it was not saying never to the Canadian artist: “We hope Justin Bieber is able to improve his conduct as he grows up and will once again find public favour.”