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. @Bebe
    Top Combine’s record label is DoReMi, which is a Korean company. Their albums are all produced in Korea, with all but the songs composed by Top Combine members being composed by Koreans. Their Arrival MV was also filmed in Korea, and their main outfits are also from Korea.

    In terms of commercializing music, mainland China has never had any edge and is actually gaining tremendously in terms of commercial music in recent years.

  2. In my opinion all I really want is more Chinese bands because I just feel China is starting to lose their edge while Korea, Japan, and the U.S. are making huge sales in the entertainment business.

    I really love Kpop/Jpop/Jrock/& U.S. music (Cuz I am in the U.S.)
    But I would really appreciate more Chinese music.
    There isn’t as much as I would like.
    It seems that entertainment business is also boost economies.
    I know if China’s economy goes up, U.S. will head more down
    but I think China deserves that bit of freedom, since they have
    been working hard. Plus, my cousins are there trying to take care
    of my grandparents. ;) Haha..

  3. i definitely adore your own posting type, very interesting,
    don’t quit as well as keep writing simply because it simply very well worth to read it.
    impatient to browse through alot more of your content, thanks ;)

  4. @darklight:
    1st of all:
    Top Combine is not a Korean band. Just because there is a Korean member in there doesn’t mean that they’re Korean. Maybe before you start talking back, do your research, alright?
    2nd of all: I’m not dissing every single Chinese artist. I actually love some of them. Just cause I said they suck ass doesn’t mean that I meant all of them.
    3rd of all: Yeah, I know they worked their butts off, but that doesn’t mean that nobody cares about them.
    4th of all: I tried to listen to the songs.. but the ones that I find on youtube are the worse ones ever.
    5th of all: I LOVE Top Combine. But their songs are just as good as Korean bands.

  5. @Bebe
    What does being Chinese have to do with anything? Just because Chinese does not give you the right to diss every single Chinese artist without actually listening to them and finding out more about them.

    Top Combine’s Arrival is Korean, if it’s bad, it’s no worse than any kpop band.
    Yet they did write their own fame song – Cotton Candy.
    BOBO’s “If” is also beautiful.
    These people did not work their butts off to be a part of a category that people ignore because they simply won’t care.

  6. I’m Chinese and I hate these bands..
    All of them suck ass..
    While all the Korean bands have all this nice beats and stuff,
    Chinese bands just can’t beat them..
    My advice to the people who are letting these bands debut and stuff, PLEASE STOP!! It’s soo freaking embarrassing!! If you’re gonna have boy bands, please, just please, make them have songs that would keep me excited for more…!! Geez, the only song I like from one of the bands, Fahrenheit, is Wo you wo de young, even though some parts sucks.. I only like the chorus part >.<

  7. if they r a quality group/band…ppl will like…
    love hit5 out of them all

    fighting hit5
    lol finally i can sing without much effort…n finally i can understand what i’m singing!

    but their quality still needs to improve… idk something is still lacking if you ask me.

    fighting hit5!!!

  8. I think that you probably should’ve posted Top Combine’s self composed song up instead.

    Actually, I’ve already heard of these bands before I read about them here. Personally, I think HIT-5 (besides needing a different band name) is decent at live and so is BoBo considering the fact that they haven’t been in the music industry quite that long, and same goes for Top Combine.

    I’m glad that Mainland China is coming out with their own bands though because I personally think Taiwan’s boybands suck. Lollipop and Fahrenheit both cannot sing live, and when they do, I feel like my ears are bleeding. Even in some of their albums they aren’t able to harmonize. Specifically ‘Wo You Wo De Young’, the notes that were held out were horribly out of pitch.

    Not only can the Taiwanese boybands not sing, the band members themselves don’t even have a sense of friendship. Fahrenheit’s controversy with Jiro and Wu Zun much?

    I still like the bands, but my favorite boyband will continue to be DBSK. DBSK, HIT-5, Top Combine, SuJu, Shinhwa, Arashi, KAT-TUN, among some others seem to to be the only boybands with talent in my opinion. The talent varies from band members being able to compose songs, play various instruments, simply being able to harmonize with the rest of its members, or even just being able to stay in the industry, but whatever it is, there’s something about these boybands that just makes me like them.

  9. I agree apisda that there’s too much anti-Korean sentiment in this post. It worries me what will happen to China in the near future?

    Will it see a burst of arrogance that suffocates the hell out of everyone? Will the self-criticism turn on others? Let’s hope not, and thank you for reminding everyone why they should not speak ill of others.

  10. Just out of random, I decided to check up on the bands mentioned…

    Top Combine is obviously doing the best (bar BOBO). Their popularity is hard to deny, what with a bestselling photoboo, and their second album is coming late this year.

    HIT 5 seems to be gaining some momentum after their EP release, but they’ll need to either come out with something new soon, or get a boost promotionally, or else they’ll be eclipsed by SJM and TC.

    Seventeen is deader than dead, and all the members have moved on.

    A-ONE is suffering from their slowness to actually come to a definite lineup and release materials, but has a core fanbase to build off of.

    Feng Yun Bang is now sans two members, and has become a five member band. If they don’t gain some major momentum soon, they’ll be completely left behind and go the way of Seventeen.

    BOBO… well, they’re doing awesomely, duh. I think that goes without saying.

    BTW, not that anyone will see this, but anyone know anything about the band 风云组合 (“Wind and Cloud Group”)? I randomly bumped into their Baidu Tieba while Looking for Feng Yun Bang, and it seems like they’re a mainland boy band that debuted back in 2006. Their voices aren’t stellar, but are fairly solid, and they’re still chugging along in obscurity… They seem to have been endorsed to some degree by CCTV, so I’m kinda wondering why they didn’t catch on.

  11. About piracy in China….

    Artists & people in the music industry around the world hardly make money from CD sales. The music industry gets most of its monies from concert tickets. So piracy in China isn’t that much of a big deal. Besides, music will spread more if it’s free. If their music is heard by more people, there will be a greater chance of gaining more fans (who will by tickets for concerts). Ever wonder why some US artists ‘accidentally leak’ their albums? It’s so that more people can hear their songs.

  12. ^ I kind of feel that way too…about the boybands.

    I mean, I feel like the whole thing with them is kind of weird. Like that nagging question of why aren’t they solo, or if they even like music.

    The personality and group interaction is like a huge crutch to make up for lack of standout talent. I’m not saying boybands don’t have the potential to be great artists, as with HOT, but at the same time…most aren’t.

    Most are spoonfed by companies, and I don’t want to fangirl people who I think are dictated in every move they make by a company. There’s always this sort of “What am I fangirling exactly?” question raised when I see them.

    I still like Top Combine. They have potential. But right now it’s a lot of potential underneath a lot of commercial stuff and that commercial stuff is killing their appeal to me somewhat.

    I have no idea if I made any sense.

    As for people dismissing the Chinese boybands…they’ll probably get over it soon, especially if the boybands like Top Combine can compose. I mean, I though HOT was a rip-off of Japanese artists’ style when I first saw them.

  13. that probably is…the MV comment was formed before figuring out the Korean one, if that’s any excuse at all.
    I guess I”m biased against them because of Arirang, another all Korean Chinese boyband which basically sung Korean songs. (are they still a group?) And Jin Mei’er, who seemed more comfortable on Star King than on Xing Guang Da Dao. A
    but then, I wanted an all- Yi group, so I shouldn’t be the one talking.

    and to be honest, I’m not in the boyband mood. Even Top Combine doesn’t interest me that much anymore. And even if they succeed, people won’t change their view of Chinese entertainment because they’ll think the only reason they’re good is because they’re Korean…sorry about all the pronouns.

    And for the past few years, I’ve been bothered by how every year on CCTV’s Spring Gala, there’s a Uighur song, a Tibetan song, a Mongolian song and a Korean song, and the other ethnicities are often represented by 5 people who’re probably Han wearing their ethnic costumes. I wish the lesser known ethnicities would come out with more representatives…like Hangeng, except someone who actually knows about their culture.

  14. ^That’s an awkward statement.

    They’re part of the Korean minority group in China. It’s like saying all those other 54 ethnic minorities aren’t Chinese as well. You’re also implying the Korean minority must hold to a certain image, which I don’t think is fair, especially since Cui Jian is part of that ethnicity and he is known for rock, a genre very underdeveloped in Korea.

    I don’t know if they’ll make it though…I don’t know how that Cfanboys group found them. They haven’t been in the news.

  15. Oooh i like them, very differnt from the other boy bands…how old are they. Did/are they gonna release an EP/album?

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