Media Reports that Top 12 K-ent Company Stock Prices Have Dropped an Average of 40% Since China’s Hallyu Ban

It’s impossible to dispute numbers and on this one the might of the Chinese government and reach of its economy has spoken. Five months after the Chinese government placed a Hallyu ban, basically a hex on Korean idols and dramas making money in Mainland China, the fallout can now be definitely measured by the precipitous fall in stock prices of Korean entertainment companies.

In the last few months, the top 12 Korean entertainment companies have on average dropped over 40% in stock price compared to the prior year. Well known entertainment agency heads like Bae Yong Joon of KeyEast, Lee Soo Man of SM Entertainment, Park Jin Young of JYP, and Yang Hyun Seok of YG have all shaved hundreds of billion Wons off their net worth. It’s still play money since they are still worth hundreds of billions of Wons, but if the Chinese Hallyu ban doesn’t let up soon expect this slide to continue.

I’m still most worried about the quality and direction of K-ent going forward if the ban continues, namely whether K-dramas are going less pre-produced route since it can’t simulcast in China, or if there may be full Chinese produced dramas starring K-stars to skirt the ban. I just don’t want diversity of story and casting to go down, that would be the most upsetting result of China’s political manhandling.


Media Reports that Top 12 K-ent Company Stock Prices Have Dropped an Average of 40% Since China’s Hallyu Ban — 22 Comments

  1. It sucks to be in this kind of situation, but the Korean government was more or less as responsible as the Chinese side for it. They surely knew the price for implementing THAAD but chose to go ahead anyway. Who knows, maybe they thought it was a small price to pay for their national security, but one thing they cannot deny for sure was that they knew the Chinese government would retaliate in some way. China knew the easiest way to get back at South Korea, and it did so in full force. Hope the Koreans finally realise that depending too much on a single market is foolishness, and try to market Hallyu more elsewhere.

    On the other hand, I would love to see the faces of the butthurt k-netz who kept trashing China for this ban since it’s inception. Some of them are Sooooo arrogant! I read a post 2 months back with comments sourced from Naver and many of them were flamers trashing China, saying that China’s culture was inferior in quality to Korea, and they couldn’t stop the flow of Hallyu no matter what. Delusional people like this are the consequence of Hallyu, which lead them to believe that they are superior to other countries in every way. If they think that China is the one losing out more in this ban, they’re dead wrong.

    Many I-netz may feel that this ban is unfair and unreasonable, but IMO it’s just temporary. This kind of situation was bound to happen eventually, with China’s Ministry of Culture warning it’s citizens abt that whole ‘falling for Song Joong Ki’ incident back when DOTS was at the height of popularity, and many nationalist citizens complaining about how South Korea profits so much off China. Nobody likes their country to be addicted to the culture of another, least of all a nationalist country like China. However, the ban will most likely be lifted eventually, China’s government has pulled off this kind of publicity stunt before to other countries, like their seizure of Singapore’s armoured vehicles, only to return them eventually. It’s all to send a warning. But whether in a few years or what, I can’t say.

    • Agree. As international fans, sometimes I feel so mad about k-netz who gave discrimination or racist comments like if they’re the most beautiful, educated and superior nation out of the world. But objectively, I still love their dramas tho. Well, if we take a look years ago, not much influence from China and k-dramas still doing really well. It sure got dropped but I think if they put years ago (take examples korean dramas or kpop in 90s or 2000s era), I think they still safe. In fact, korea has effect more countries now.

      • I seldom read k-netz comments but yes, I agree. Due to the Hallyu wave, Koreans tend to feel that they are way superior. I read that some of their stars and the management have big attitude problem too, even bigger than Hollywood stars. When come to key player, nobody can underestimate China. The nation is so big and the economy is so strong, in a way, this ban is to serve as a wake up call to Korea and they better run a check on their ego.

  2. When a wave is gone, it’s gone!
    Blaming China for the ban will not help finding another path to get back the profits.
    Even the ban is lifted soon, there is no guarantee that the K-dramas will be on demand again. Except for the best of quality.
    As “Goblin” managed to be sold in Japan on a very good price only because it is an excellent drama.
    I was sad to watch ho K-entertainment companies turned their backs to Japan hoping on the new “golden goose” China to fill their pockets. No political tension can be an excuse to the poor quality of the dramas, filmed just to be sold on the next higher price, making a balloon who eventually burst. The political decision just put the end of this craze sooner than expected.
    Now K-entertainment just have to returned to the normal business – to produce good dramas and sell them and a fair market.

    • I don’t really think they turn their backs on Japan because I came accross an article once that the K-wave has eventually died down in Japan. The last Korean dramas aired on NHK was Empress Ki as viewership for K-dramas had fell significantly and Japanese are no longer interested. I think China is the latest newest market in recent years and happened to be the biggest, so they were focusing on this cash cow. I don’t think K-wave has dwindled at least not in southheast asia but if they are not improving the quality of their dramas, then it won’t be too long before this phenemenon will eventually phased out.

      • The Hanllyu wave in Japan suffered a big blow in 2012 because of a political decision by the Japanese government after territorial disputes over some islands with Korea. Almost all Kdramas were only allowed to be aired on cable or paid channels and not on public channels, which drastically cut down viewership. Many Japanese ajummas actually went on the streets to protest but to no avail. Only this year things are getting better after relations warmed up a bit. This, again, like China’s ban, serves to show how politics could be a big risk factor for a cultural phenomenon that transcends border and speaks to so many people’s hearts. THE Chinese market picked up after 2013/2014 mainly because of an Internet boom where pirated Kdramas are shown and government censorship not that harsh. In most other countries K-dramas are shown on TV but not in China.

      • Well, as a Malaysian avid drama viewer since the early 80s, I could sense there’s a shift of trend with the so call waves. I remember in the days where J-Dramas and TW-Dramas were the craze. If I remember correctly, it goes like this:-

        Hong Kong (80s)–> Japan (90s) –> Taiwan (early 00s) –> Korea (mid 00s)

        I really think K-wave has slowed down a lot. I will not be surprise if China is going to be the next big wave.

      • @Kuppies. Very true. I can see the c-drama waves are coming. In Youtube c-drama can easily reach million views.

    • Well I agree that you can’t stay popular forever and c-dramas become better quality-wise. In my childhood I loved Hong Kong movies, then I discovered Asian dramas: Japanese and Taiwanese and then Korean and now I watch more and more Chinese dramas and Thai too. So I’m not biased towards only Korean entertainment. At its hey day it was good quality fresh and new. People need diversity. I get bored with new Korean dramas easily because of similar patterns and plots and drop them even big hits. Also there are many actors and actresses that look the same. Maybe it’s PS. I can’t tell them apart even though I’m Asian myself.

  3. Koala could you post on Mark Chao and Yang Mi’s Three Lives Three Worlds drama adaptation? So far it has been wonderful but there hasn’t been a lot of news.

  4. No big shock here. You could sneeze wrong and have it affect stock prices so this was bound to hurt. I’ve read that the Chinese are still getting their hallyu fix via piracy of dramas.

  5. Literally all preproduced kdramas that were created for simulcast were terrible in terms of quality, and most of them did poorly in ratings. They had lazy, uninspired scripts, and put all the investment in huge stars to headline them. In fact, I find strange that “diversity” would be a problem BECAUSE of this ban, when it’s one of the aspects that has suffered the most. Only bankable, safe options were up for these projects.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this but I don’t mind going back to the old system for everyone sorry.

    • Exactly, when pre-production gives you hackneyed, poorly-cast hot messes like Uncontrollably Fond, Hwarang and what not, it’s no loss if THAAD puts an end to that.

      Maybe newer actors will finally start having a shot at lead roles in Korea again, instead of casting always being done with an eye to the Chinese market.

    • I didn’t think pre-production would suddenly make me a fan of the writer of Uncontrollably Fond, but I did think the stories would be true to what the writer wanted to do with the time to get that done. It became apparent very quickly that this was not the case. Some dramas seem to have suffered from productions that were not familiar with pre-production and paid a price…so, okay, there is a learning curve.

      Now I get it; preproduction probably is a nicer situation for actors and crew (one hopes), but it doesn’t magically take care of writing or hiring issues (for the now diminished Chinese audience for whom pre-production was done in the first place).

      I don’t think live shoot is the answer given the news that came out of the Goblin set. I do think a 50% pre-production is the answer. It gives the actors a head start but there is time to address issues if need be. (Yes, I know it didn’t work in CITT.) I also think having the drama completely written for the shorter dramas would work as well. If they don’t have enough for 16 episodes, they could make it 14. Yes, a drama like Introverted Boss would not be able to make the changes but, oh well.

  6. China govt changes rules on whims which makes it challenging to plan long term investments and collaborations with them.
    In a way it is a wake up call for Korea since they have been too reliant on the Chinese market to the extent of creating content especially catered to their youth markets. They should look to South America and Central Asia for expansion. The real jem in their entertainment industry is actually their films. They have the most exciting film industry in Asia now in terms of production and genre variety. If they can continue to nurture industry talents and build on their distribution contacts around the world they can still grow without China.

    I do think some South Koreans are too proud and overestimate their cultural influence, but we shouldn’t think netizen comments are reflective of the average Korean citizen’s sentiments. China is also just using the THAAD issue as an excuse to protect their industries.

    • Yes. Totally agree. I don’t think the chinese was happy how the hallyu wave is impacting their industry, and korean stars/singers are taking top CF/concerts dollars away. The Thaad seems to be a “big” excuse but in actuality, the hallyu ban is more the green eye monster roaring its head off how much money is flowing out of China. Think about it, the chinese are the No.1 patrons of all things korean from cosmetics to MCM to clothes, to plastic surgery. The government can try but as long as Koreans stay focused and continue to innovate, they remain the No.1 entertainment industry in Asia whether others like it or not. And their global influence is also increasing. Age of Shadows financed fully by a major US movie studio has made 6X its investment.

  7. hmm, interesting. However, Lotte department store still has queues of Mainland Chinese flocking to their stores. I wonder if those customers have reduced in numbers and if so by how much percentage?

  8. Korean dramas lost their touches. I still remember how I fall to korean dramas. Not only because of the oppas and unnies were so beautiful but they also well acted and the story was so good. Such as Autumn in My Heart, What Happen in Bali, Winter Sonata, Jewel in the Palace, Full House, Goong, Coffee Prince etc. Can we blame the idols for their awkward acting to become one of the reason of korean dramas lower quality? Perhaps yes, or not. In fact, there were some idols who were and are good actors and help Hallyu Wave such as Rain, Yoon Eun Hye, Eric and Eugene. Those three can be put as other ‘real actors’ in their peak time. However, nowadays none of idol-actors could be put as the same position as ‘real actors’. By China nabbed, I hope the quality of korean dramas also can be as good as before no matter ‘real actors’ or idol-actors’ play those roles.

    • I don’t think Korean dramas lost their touch. Hallyu is still going – maybe not as strong as before – but it’s still going. There are still good content coming out of Korea, and I think just as much as there’s idol actors who can’t act there’s been many who also can. Also just like Hong Kong movies were the frenzy back in the 80s and 90s, Hallyu will eventually die down not due to quality but thats just how things work -all good things come to an end.

      Things we grew up with tend to be better. Watching Rain now I definitely don’t think he’s a good actor, something I failed to see in Full House when I was younger. The current gen who grew up with recent hits – Descendants of the Sun, Goblin, etc will probably say the same thing about later Kdramas a decade later.

      • Well I suppose it depends on what ‘their touch’ covers. But all in all I do think that content wise, they are definitely starting to dwindle in quality and originality. There’s only so many times you can do a certain trope til it just gets ridiculously tiring. Not to mention how messy the start of some dramas are, pre produced or not.

        With more recent dramas like Hwarang, you can already tell the problems they had were mainly in the writing. Just because it’s not the actor’s fault doesn’t mean the quality of the drama is safe. The characterization of the female lead is so terrible and to be honest, the writers had a perfect opportunity to focus a lot on Hwarang (the actual) group but instead turned it into a typical love triangle.

        This just goes to show that there aren’t many producers or writers that are thinking creatively. If this continues, the dramas will lose their touch.

        I suppose it doesn’t help that Chinese dramas in general have far more strong female lead characters. They don’t necessarily need to be physically strong, tom boy strong either. It appeals to larger crowds

  9. To be honest, I’ve always hated the attitude the Koreans had when it came to this. They always had this stuck up manner claiming to be superior in the entertainment industry, their culture, however when it comes down to it, they rely heavily on the Chinese money. They rely so heavily on the money that comes into their economy from those rich Chinese businessmen and yet they turn their nose up at them. I’m kinda glad to see them getting hurt by this.

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