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Katy Perry, Sunflower Dress

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Controversy is blooming around Katy Perry in China.

What looked like just another technicolor costume for the pop princess has stirred up animosity among those who saw the sunflower-studded dress she wore onstage Tuesday as a pro-Taiwanese statement. Which, considering she was performing in Taipei and she was surrounded by sunflowers, could have been the case—but she's performed in that costume before.

Taiwan just marked last month the anniversary of the Sunflower Student Movement, when students staged a 23-day occupation of Taiwan's parliament last year in protest of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, a trade pact that some Taiwanese feared would give mainland China too much economic influence in the sovereign state.

Thousands rallied outside the building in solidarity with the students inside, and demonstrators carried sunflowers as a symbol of hope.

So that is quite the statement of solidarity Perry seemed to be making.

The Prism artist, who also at one point donned the official flag of Taiwan (aka the Republic of China) as a cape while singing "Unconditionally," certainly kept the conversation light during her concert, at one point telling the audience, "I don't even know how to speak Mandarin. That's what you speak, right?"

According to Quartz, plenty of Perry's Taiwanese fans adored the outfit and what could be construed as its political significance, while posts on Chinese social media indicated that the pop star may have lost some fans on the mainland.

"I'm speechless over Fruit Sister," read one post on Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo that referred to Perry by a local nickname (which she got for wearing a lot of costumes that involve fruit). "I suppose she has no chance to come to the mainland anymore, though she might not care. These performers who intervene in other countries' politics are the most annoying."

Katy Perry, Sunflower Dress

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

zAddressing speculationi that Perry could end up banned from performing in China, user robotcl wrote on Taiwanese site PTT, per Hong Kong's Apple Daily. "It's impossible for China to ban an American superstar."

"That's super fierce, wearing sunflowers and the Taiwanese flag," lostguy wrote approvingly, also on PTT. "No wonder mainland artists say Taiwan has too much freedom of expression."

And still others assume that Perry's dress is a nonstarter.

"I am laugh-crying at Taiwan anti-China dissidents 'moved to tears' because Katy Perry's stylist accidentally committed her to their cause," Arthur Chu cracked on Twitter. "'I don't even speak Mandarin. That's what you speak, right?' Katy Perry while unknowingly decked out as a member of Taiwan's Occupy," he added.

Chimed in good kid., f.O.b. city: "God bless Katy Perry. She's now Taiwan's most famous advocate without even knowing it."

Perry's Prism World Tour touches down May 1 in Macau and then she's off to the Philippines and Indonesia.