By Xiaofeng Shi
Since their début Weibo post on the 6th of November, Vietnamese pop-group HKT Band* have attracted a staggering number of followers, over 60,000 at the time of writing and still growing. Their popularity has little to do with their music however.
“Hi everyone, we’re HKT Band from Vietnam! We like China! I love you! Please follow our official Weibo account, reads the first post of the unintentionally viral Weibo profile.
In the page description, the boyband claims to be the most popular idol group among Vietnamese youth. However, the Southeast Asian musicians’ rise to Chinese stardom is more akin to that of Sister Lotus or William Hung.
Most commenters are branding their music quasi-revolting while others dismiss it as mere Internet trolling. “Hard effort to torture their fans everyday”, one comment reads.
Many also have a go at their outrageously avant-garde hairstyles and David Bowie circa Ziggy Stardust meets awful Euro-pop dress sense. One user writes, “Wash + Cut + Blow Trio more like”, while another says, “My eyes, my steel enhanced eyes!”
Whoever is controlling the profile, they seem to be taking no notice of the furore. The account has posted a number of music videos which then quickly became viral hits in spite of, or really because of, how awful they sound.
In their latest entry, the group says: “Hi everyone, here’s a surprise for you. We’d like to introduce our brother group HKT-M. Don’t underestimate his talents just because he’s cute. Now enjoy our new hit Xuân Vạn Niên. Hope you like it! Thanks for the support China!”
HKT Band & HKT-M
*Note: the account is not yet verified, but there is no reason to believe that it isn’t the band or their record company controlling it.