TAIPEI - Tzuyu, the 16-year-old Taiwanese member of K-pop girl group Twice, has seen her fame rise to new heights in South Korea after being caught in a "Taiwan independence" row last week, according to the local Yonhap news agency.
Together with Hyeri of Girl's Day and Seolhyun of AOA, Tzuyu is now one of the three top female idols among the young of South Korea, said Yonhap.
"She has not planned for the sudden surge in fame, but if she could weather this storm, she will be on the way to becoming a shining star," added the agency.
Yonhap was referring to a video broadcast last week showing the singer-dancer apologising for having conveyed the impression that she championed Taiwan independence from China and declaring that she is Chinese.
According to Yonhap, more than 90 per cent of respondents who commented on the video via South Korea's polling website Nate said "she had no reason to apologise" and swore to give her support.
Yonhap predicted that, with her newfound fame, Tzuyu is on the way to earning many times more than the NT$53.7 million (S$2.3 million) she had made so far in her entertainment career.
Meanwhile, Taiwan-born, Beijing-based singer Huang An, who kicked up the row when he identified Tzuyu as a spokesman for Taiwan independence, denied he had targeted the girl because she waved the national flag of Taiwan in a Korean show.
"There is more than meets the eye in the Tzuyu incident. The flag was not what prompted my expose on her. Some media deliberately misinterpreted my remark," Huang said in a post in Weibo, China's top microblogging site.
China Post reported yesterday that a Taiwanese human rights lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Huang and JYP Entertainment - Tzuyu's South Korean agency - for forcing the girl to apologise against her will.
In Seoul, the Centre for Multicultural Korea also said it would lodge a formal complaint against JYP with the country's national human rights commission over its wrongful treatment of Tzuyu.
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