As Asian pop acts dominate charts around the world, a new band called FFC-Acrush hopes to be China’s answer to K-Pop. The group’s spiky hair and suggestive dance routines make them the platonic ideal of a boy band, with one exception: They’re girls.
The five members of Acrush say they prefer to be referred to as mĕi shàonián, or “handsome youths.” And with their short hair, drop-crotch pants, and sneakers, they look more like Justin Bieber clones than Fifth Harmony.
Acrush is the brainchild of 34-year-old Wang Tianhai, whose 7-month-old company, Zhejiang Huati Culture Communication, is funded in part by the billion-dollar Chinese tech giant Tencent. Wang now hopes to create China’s popstar industrial complex.
VICE News went to China to visit the popstar factory.
This segment originally aired May 24, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.