Did this Twitter gaffe get Maroon 5 shut out of an entire country?

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Maroon 5 have some explaining to do after their recent Twitter mishap.

The group were due to play two dates in China this September, and over the weekend it was announced the gigs would no longer be going ahead. The rumoured reason? A tweet posted by Maroon 5 keyboardist Jesse Carmichael about partying with the Dalai Lama.

The musician tweeted on July 6 to say he had "sang happy birthday to his holiness," something which didn't go down to well with the band's Chinese fans, due to the country's tumultuous relationship with the Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan Buddhist monk was born in China but has lived in exile in India for the last 56 years.

No official explanation has been given for the cancellation of the two concerts in Beijing and Shanghai, but  the BBC reports that the (now-deleted) tweet not only angered fans but the authorities too. The reaction to the concert's cancellation has been mixed on the Chinese social network Weibo, a Twitter/Facebook style site that is huge among Chinese young adults and teens.

"Musicians should stick to music and do their thing. Why bother with politics?" one commenter wrote, according to reports from China. "Does attending a friend's birthday party equal agreeing with his political views?" wrote another.

Maroon 5 are not the only musicians to have been the subject of strife when it came to performing in China. Oasis were apparently forced to cancel dates in China after Noel Gallagher gave his support to a Free Tibet concert in New York, while Linkin Park were also banned from the country after being photographed with the Dalai Lama in Los Angeles.

Let's hope no other concerts on the lads' tour are affected.

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