Justin Bieber may be beyond his bad boy ways for good, but in China, officials don’t believe he’s fit to perform in the country and have barred him from taking the stage.
A statement published on the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture website on Tuesday confirmed that the 23-year-old pop star has been barred from performing in China due to a past “series of bad behaviour” within the country and worldwide.
“Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer,” the statement begins. “It is understood that as a public figure, he had a series of bad behaviour in the overseas social life and in the domestic performance activities caused public dissatisfaction.”
The statement continues, insisting that “in order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers.”
The Bureau of Culture issued the response after receiving a question from one of their website users who requested further details into Bieber’s absence from China.
The statement went on to express the Bureau’s hopes and dreams for the Canadian pop star as he continues to learn from past mistakes. “We hope that as Justin Bieber matures, he can continue to improve his own words and actions, and truly become a singer beloved by the public,” the statement concludes.
During his last visit to the region, Bieber caused uproar when he posted images of himself visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which has caused decades’ worth of tension between Japan and neighbouring countries.
Shortly after the incident, China’s Foreign Ministry addressed the images with a stern statement. “I hope this singer can learn more about the history of Japanese militarism, and the wrongful historical and militaristic views promoted by the shrine after his visit,” spokesman Qin Gang said.
The statement did not provide any details of Bieber’s “behaviour,” but the singer has been embroiled in a few controversies in recent years, including an egg-throwing incident in Los Angeles in 2015 and allegations of assault in in Toronto in 2013.
And in 2013, photos of Bieber being carried up the Great Wall of China also raised eyebrows with many locals.
Bieber is slated to begin the Asian leg of his “Purpose World Tour” in September, with concerts in Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore.
—With a file from The Associated Press