Boyband Trend in China?

Ok, first of all, my original reason for starting this blog, to translate articles and improve my Chinese, has really not panned out the way I thought it would. I find myself translating less, and putting more of my own commentary on articles. But if you haven’t noticed I focus a lot on entertainment trends that are happening in Chinese-speaking regions. Because especially mainland China, is very immature in terms of entertainment and it’s exciting to see how it’s changing as the middle class grows. Like I said in my “What is the point of Cfensi” page, economic boom happened there later and only now are we feeling the maturation of that industry. I also predicted there would be boybands and other frivolities and whatnot in 2020. Well, that particular trend has started a bit early…

That pic is of new Chinese boyband Top Combine which is set to debut this month with an EP.

One thing that I always loved about the Chinese music scene was that no matter how you looked, as long as you were talented, you could become not only famous, but achieve the highest level of fame and sell the most records. For example, Liu Huan, who sang at the opening ceremony, is one of the most highly respected artists in China, is not only ugly but also overweight. Jay Chou, Tank, JJ Lin, and Anson Hu, each from a different Chinese-speaking region, are not the best lookers, but have become some of the most famous artist in China because they are fantastic songwriters, and most of them have wonderful voices as well (I’ll let you guess which one doesn’t).

But lately, there seems to be not just a trend, but a wave of boybands showing up on the Chinese entertainment scene. While F4 was popular, they didn’t spawn anything like this. They were just there, alone in their group popularity. People felt they were an isolated phenomenon, famous because of Meteor Garden, but not really because they were a boyband. But I think it was when kpop boybands were sent out across Asia, and people in Taiwan thought, hey, that seems like easy way to make money…and in came Fahrenheit, brilliantly packaged and sucessful. Then Lollipop (and their spin off groups, which I don’t quite get so I’m not going to touch on).

Mainland China, of all wonders then came out with its own groups. Top Combine debuted about a week ago, consisting of four Chinese members, and one Korean. Their company (EEmedia) seems to be dead set on making a success out of them, from the looks of how much they trained and the way their new MV looks. And if they do become successful they may give other companies ideas to start boybands, the same way in Korea SM led to other companies following in their footsteps. There is already another boyband waiting to debut in China, Seventeen, although to be honest, I don’t think they’ll do that great. Promotion is everything with boybands. HIT-5 has debuted with a well-produced MV and is getting a lot of attention and becoming quite successful as well.

Taiwan’s boybands



China’s new boybands


Top Combine



Since I think most people have heard Fahrenheit and Lollipop’s songs I’ll let you listen to the others and judge for yourself if they deserve to be here. Top Combine has several people from Kuai Le Hao Nan Er, so they should be good singers by default actually.

Top Combine’s first single: Arrival Read more about Top Combine

Seventeen’s first song, Cheng Quan Ai

So do I really think a growing trend of boybands is really necessary? No. But considering that a lot of other music trends in China, such as rock and rap and hip-hop are growing at the same time, I don’t really think boybands will hurt the music industry, or make it become less varied. And I think that China really craves and needs idols because I don’t see how she can survive in Asia, where boybands seem almost like a necessity. I just hope that people like Anson Hu or JJ Lin will always be at the top.

Edit: One more Chinese boyband! Hit-5!
Read More About Hit-5


Edit 2: Another Chinese boyband…A-ONE.

Read more about A-ONE here.



Edit 3: This has gotten officially too ridiculous.

Read More About Feng Yun Bang (Wind and Cloud)


Oh and as requested by idarklight…the first young idol group in China, BoBo, though they’re not really a boyband, and they got put together not to take advantage of the boyband market, but because they were BFFs. Together they are the most popular group in China right now according to Baidu statistics. Read more about BoBo here.



91 thoughts on “Boyband Trend in China?

  1. The chinese boy bands are probably the best looking ones hahaha

    but they still lack a bit of talent to catch up with super junior…..
    I think the chinese music industry should hold more auditions across the world like SM Town company to train youngster into stars! Sometimes it is not only about the looks….but so far the chinese boy bands definitely seems to be the hottest haha

  2. i would like BOBO to be the hotest cuz they r native idols of mainland.
    i do like TC’s members and i think they r talented,but im now a little disgusted with HNTV’s behaviors.
    Seventeen r good at singing and talented in composeing.

  3. Yes. ^.^ Their song “If” was the third most searched for song on Chinese Google last year, and they sang “Glory” at the Paralympics Opening Ceremony.

    they’ve released an EP and an album. On Chinese sites, you have to search for “BOBO group” to find their songs.

    BOBO’s MP3’s on Baidu:

    Their songs/mv’s on youtube:


    Always Ready:

    New at love:


    The Big World:

    Twin Cities:

    How to Love:

    Big Celebrity:

    BOBO’s interview on “Behind the story”:

    BOBO on Happy Camp:

  4. @Becky I think Top Combine is the only one with a Korean model so far. And like I said, I consider Top Combine’s music mostly kpop. But that doesn’t make them any worse than every other Korean boyband who went through the “Korean model,” which is basically a ripoff from an “European model.” That’s like saying a Taiwanese drama is inferior simply because it’s copied from a Japanese manga. I think it’s unfair to say that Top Combine only succeeded because they copied a Korean model since there are plenty of Korean boybands that floundered. Hunan TV can market, and Top Combine definitely did not rise above the other boybands because of the crappy MV director and songs that DoReMi gave them. Top Combine’s success, minus the training and dancing, has more to do with EE Media and its uniquely Chinese marketing skills than DoReMi’s Kpop music.

    BOBO sure isn’t Korean. They have trained in dancing in Korea, but they’ve also trained in Singapore and Taiwan. Their music was produced by HY Bros. And I’m sure you can’t find another boyband with their story.

  5. I’m sorry, but the Top Combine picture with the water just looks like a horrible ripoff of DBSK’s Mirotic poster. As much as I understand the wish of Chinese people to have boybands to call their own, copying the Korean model (especially poorly) isn’t the way to go. It’s a matter of Chinese pride too, right? We don’t want to be idolizing Korean bands, but I’d rather do that than idolize “Chinese” bands who look like they’re 99% copying Korean bands in hairstyles, music video directors, song producers, even down to the promotional pictures.

    To sum it up: It’s great that mainland China has boybands debuting. It’s not so great that the boybands that are debuting and that are being promoted are basically carbon copies of “foreign” material anyway. Aside from the fact that they speak Chinese, everything else about them is basically Korean – so how “Chinese” are they anyway? And if you’re proud of “Chinese” success, isn’t it just a little sad that they’re doing it basically through the Korean model?

  6. Top Combine is both. They’re under the management EE Media, which is Chinese; and the recording company DoReMi, which is Korean. EE Media is in charge of their promotion, DoReMi just produces their album Memberwise, Top Combine is 4/5 Chinese whereas SJM is 3/7 Chinese. And if you look at activity-wise, Top Combine, being under EE Media, does everything with the rest of EE Media (which is under the same company as Hunan TV, which is why Top Combine’s on Hunan TV all the time). I consider TC itself Chinese because its members are mostly Chinese, it’s mostly under EE Media, they hang out with EE Media people that I love and they semi-debuted through the Super Boy route. But their music, minus self-compositions like Cotton Candy by Ma Xueyang, is still kpop.

    A-One hasn’t released an album yet. They’ve been on a few variety shows, but mostly are working on their album release. They were adorable on Happy Camp, though.

  7. NVM about before. I have not heard any of A-One’s songs, so I don’t really know what they are like. As for Top Combine, I totally didn’t know that they were Korean. But if that’s so, then why do alot of Chinese accept Top Combine into the Chinese boyband category, while rejecting SJM? There’s a forum that I came across yesterday that asked about the hottest Chinese boyband. Top Combine was mentioned a few times and no one said anything, but as soon as SJM was mentioned, a huge argument started about how they are not Chinese. Why do people accept Top Combine as Chinese and not SJM?

  8. @Mallie I also hate the gangster thing, too. One of the reason I went into Asian entertainment was the cleaness of it.
    And props on looking up BOBO. I feel like one of the reasons they haven’t gotten the love they deserve overseas is the lack of available information on them for non-Chinese people.
    I think you have to take into consideration that Top Combine is part kpop. Its recording company is DoReMi, which is Korean. I have to admit (and cfensi can attest to this), I dismissed Top Combine as a kpop wannabe in the beginning, too. But because they are from EE Media and thus are often in shows with some of my favorite stars, I watched them; and like you did with SJM, I now see them as real people and really enjoy them. I think especially for Ma Xueyang and Zhang Yuan, becoming kpop-like was a means to pursue their musical dreams more than anything else. And yes, BOBO’s still my favorite. XD They’re simply too adorable. I’ve been really enjoying A-One, though.

  9. I am Chinese, but I’ve been in the US for 6 years. You have no idea how much I miss China! I totally agree with the STOP idolizing Foreign things. If they are ahead right now, just work hard to surpass them. My Dad is one of those who needs to wake up and realize that the US is in a depression right now. If it weren’t for his idiotic believes, I would not have to move to US and miss the life that I’ve wanted so much since little. Now all I can do is watch as much Chinese movies and MVs as I canto try and absorb some Chinese culture. I am totally hating the gangster, rap thing that’s going on here and how people look up to artists who have to go to drug rehabs every two months. (Don’t get me wrong, I love the friends I have here, I just really miss China.)
    Sorry for getting distracted, but back to boybands. I LOVE boybands that have originality and charms. Top Combine’s just too much of a Kpop copy cat for me. I do love SJ-M though, not because they are foreign but because I’ve seen so many of their variety shows that they seem like real people to me rather than just artists. Plus, they rock at dancing. I am excited to see what their future will be like in China and hopefully I’ll be back in 3 years to see them in person. As for Fahrenheit and Lollipop, their songs feel really immature to me for some reason. Fahrenheit is a little bit better for all it’s members are cute, but Lollipop is just a bunch of teens with no talents or looks. BoBo on the other hand is really amazing. I have to admit though, I have never heard of them till I started reading this blog a few minutes ago. But you have to give me credit for doing homework, since I looked them up right afterwards. They are both cute and have a nice voice. Most importantly of all, they don’t look fake. =/ That’s all I have to say today. I hope I’ll continue to discover new Chinese artists and what’s really going on in China here. Later. (please excuse my spelling/grammar mistakes. I hate proofreading.)

  10. So… has there been any new updates on these boybands? Haven’t heard much of what HiT-5, Top Combine, etc. have been doing these days in terms of promotion.

  11. I think Mainland China really needs to catch up with Taiwan, Korea and Japan in terms of boybands and the big young people’s entertainment scene. I think its great how new bands like Top Combine are debuting [is that even a word? haha] because China being the most populous country will get some credibility in the music scene like its neighbouring countries.

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