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China bans K-pop amid missile row

The People's Republic, which has reacted angrily to plans for a US missile battery in South Korea, has reportedly barred Korean musicians from playing in the country

By IQ on 30 Nov 2016

Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun, Samsung Electronics

Korean actress Jun Ji-hyun, who has been replaced in a phone ad by a Chinese actress


image © Samsung Electronics

Amid a diplomatic spat sparked by the decision to deploy a US missile battery in South Korea, the People’s Republic of China has reportedly instituted a nationwide prohibition on performances by Korean musicians.

The ban – which also extends to South Korean TV programming, news about Korean celebrities and the use of Korean actors in Chinese advertisements – has led to plunging shares in several Korean entertainment companies popular in China, which has become one of the largest export markets for Korean pop (K-pop) music, second only to Japan.

Although China’s communist government denies the existence of any ban, The Korea Times reports “no Korean entertainer has obtained Beijing’s permission to perform in the neighbouring country since October”.

No Korean entertainer has obtained Beijing’s permission to perform … since October

The growth of South Korean pop culture (known as the Korean Wave or Hallyu) has been heavily subsidised by the country’s government. In addition to China and Japan, the number of K-pop shows is growing in the Americas, Europe and south-east Asia.

China argues the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense [sic] anti-ballistic missile system in South Korea could upset the balance of power in the region. Geng Shaung, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said on 16 November: “We again urge all sides to face up to China’s reasonable concerns and stop the deployment process.”

 


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