Kris Wu has a massive Asian following but is mostly unknown to the American public.
Chinese-Canadian rap artist Kris Wu has sparked some controversy on social media with his latest release, November Rain. His album was purchased 14 million times in 24 hours, with 7 of its songs landing the Top 10 of the US iTunes. While this achievement is an unprecedented success for the rapper, the feat has been dampened by accusations of his win being propelled artificially. Since his drop entailed Ariana Grande's single "Thank U, Next" landing in the 5th spot, social media users claim that there is no way his numbers are organic.
American music enthusiasts attribute his success to the use of bots that have the capacity to generate these kinds of results. His fans are refuting these allegations.
"The sales results could be very authentic. It is normal for Kris' fans to make purchases several times per person to support their idol. They can afford it," a Beijing-based k-pop fangirl surnamed Hu told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Scooter Braun, Ariana Grande's manager, reportedly questioned the authenticity of Wu's popularity, tweeting "he is using bots… they will handle it and we are not worried. It's unfortunate but you can't stop Ari," according to a screen grab circulated online.
Braun has since said that he never made those accusations himself: "There is a fake tweet going around." This comes after some press tweets have been deleted from his profile. "Thank u, next" was #1 on the US iTunes chart as of press time.
"His fans support his new album to give him the best birthday gift, but it is really funny to be misunderstood as a robot," one of Wu's fans "YiXIAYE_" tweeted on Sunday.
Wu has 158,000 followers on Twitter whose network is banned in China, and 44.7 million followers on China's Sina Weibo.