China’s Boycott of Hallyu Entertainment and Products Estimated to Cause 20 Billion Losses for South Korea

While the China-South Korea THAAD detente affect K-ent viewers mostly with oppa not being as accessible, there is likely going to be a huge economic loss for South Korea this year alone. The South Korean GDP is around 1.5 trillion and the Chinese ban and boycott of South Korean consumables and goods has been calculated by pundits to hit the wallet at a 20 billion loss. It’s not insignificant and one of the sectors to be hit the hardest is tourism as Chinese tourists which accounted for nearly 50% of all visitors to South Korea is now halting all upcoming trips. This on top of current and recent Hallyu shows including variety and dramas being pulled from all Chinese streaming portals, and the closure of all Lotte Duty Free and Mart stores in China ostensibly for business permit violations but really for Lotte donating land to the government to install THAAD. On this boycott there is also an unprecedented Chinese citizen support for the hard line tactics so it’ll be awhile before popular oppas get to visit China for promotional events or to do a joint project.


Comments

China’s Boycott of Hallyu Entertainment and Products Estimated to Cause 20 Billion Losses for South Korea — 12 Comments

  1. While I understand why they are doing this, China is actually violating WTO regulations with this government sanctioned boycott (even if the spokesmen claim it is not an official boycott). :S it sucks that the rules don’t apply for big guys like China and US.

  2. First, thanks Ockoala for covering this situation. Other sites are steering clear of the it but it’s really important for global audiences to understand how politics and economics can affect life in a variety of ways.

    Second, in a weird way, this whole situation might be a blessing in disguise for South Korean entertainment. South Korea is going to have to figure out a way to recoup the loss of revenue. In order to so, South Korean entertainment will start moving into different markets. There are now noted star academies popping up in New York City and Mexico City. K-Pop groups are doing global tours now also. Jung Il-Woo is/was (not sure if it’s still airing) in Thai drama/lakorn. So, it’ll be tough to regain all that was lost but now K-ent will really get a chance to get creative and more diverse. Personally, I can’t wait to see an episode of Running Man in Brazil, Germany or Canada.

    • Hallyu tried to break into North American’s market for years before moving to China. But yes, they should take this opportunity to review what they did wrong in the first attempt and try again.

      • It’s hard to break into North America, period. Even the Asian American actors struggle trying to break into the American market, with limited English skills for Korean celebrities this will be even tougher.

        I noticed They are switching over to Thailand though. Only recently has Thai idols in Korea gotten so much rave. Nickhun helped kickstart it but more and more Thai idols are making it in Korea so that says a lot about the Thai market.

  3. It will be difficult to cover losses made from losing the China market. We are talking about ridiculously easy money. There was another report which suggested a third of K-ent revenue was from China alone and they predicted in 2017 this would rise to 50% before this THAAD issue arose. Also, any Hallyu starring in a drama sold to China had immediately recouped their production cost. I seriously doubt any other country out there would give money so easily to some mediocre K-dramas.

  4. Sout- Korea should try with South-Asia and Middle-East. I’ve noticed large fandoms there and there are so many fan pages with thousands of followers. Of course Korean entertainment will probably stay more marginal in those countries, but isn’t it like that everywhere? Let’s just hope that the political situation gets better..

    • They won’t get much for South East Asia. Most fans are watching through streaming or download. They can forget to sell kdramas to the local broadcast networks with much $ like what they did with China or Japan.

  5. South- Korea should try with South-Asia and Middle-East. I’ve noticed large fandoms there and there are so many fan pages with thousands of followers. Of course Korean entertainment will probably stay more marginal in those countries, but isn’t it like that everywhere? Let’s just hope that the political situation gets better..

  6. This is a great lesson to Korea not to allow any one country to base their financial independence on. Allowing china to hold you by the b**ls pretty much means you have to subject yourself to their whims abs whines along the way. Get back to the basics and learn to diversify and not hot wagon hop. CJ entertainment is a classic example of a GREAT company who surveys the situation and reacts to it. Since the kpop ban last year, they have wisely diversified and strengthened their presence in South East Asia. Started on output deals with US major networks to cross sell content formats and started penetrating kcon into the middle east. They are set to make 100 billion in sales this year so while the lotte and amore Pacific is getting trounced in their share prices because of their over reliance on China, CJ is just going up and up and up. They are a smart company and more korean companies need to take a page out of their books and really learn to build up independence.

  7. korean have no one to blame but themselve. they should try not to piss china off if they make their money from china. now they lost their golden goose

    • They were not out to piss off China. It’s called national interests, and why should one country subject their national security or interest for another’s?

      Anyway I hope South Korea can recover their losses and markets in other ways outside of China.

      I’m a Chinese fan with a very neutral position towards this THAAD issue, and it’s simply unfortunate for both sides when it comes to entertainment perspective. The Korean entertainers and productions who worked hard and had all their content essentially “thrown away” (for now) or their activity cancelled/banned and hence unforeseen losses. And also those in China who love their Hallyu content and Korean dramas and won’t get to see their oppas for awhile. Hope this political issue can reside soon with best outcomes for both sides

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