On August 21, a boy group called Panda Boys (天府少年), was trending with the announcement of their debut. The group officially debuted on August 20 and even had a showcase for their debut single, “Go Ahead”. However, their debut was controversial their members are young boys with an average age of 8 years old.
Many netizens expressed disapproval about children debuting and blamed the management company for using them to make money. Due to the backlash from netizens, Panda Boys’ management company, Asia Starry Sky Group (ASE) issued a statement explaining their rationale for debuting this group.
ASE explains “Chinese Youth, Asia’s Role Model” is not just their slogan, but also a goal they are striving towards. “The company isn’t using the children as money making tools, but is breeding a new generation of role models with significance in this generation. Chinese youth should be positive individuals who love their country deeply, be cultured, have dreams, love to study, be physically and mentally healthy and an enriched heart.”
The company went on to say that the members of Panda Boys all have to love studying, actively work hard, and be full of talent and skills. Among the members, there are representatives of certain academic subjects and are also “three-good students”, who excel academically, morally, and physically. The management team claims their first requirement for the members must be that they ensure studying happens before they complete their artistic training, “because we aren’t a commercial artist team.”