China strengthens ban of Korean products including media
Ever since South Korea announced its intention to station THAAD in the country, a move deemed crucial in defense against North Korea's ever escalating missile threats... China expressed its discontent through a number of economic measures, such as limiting imports of Korean comsetics back in January.
According to our Kim Jung-soo Beijing isn't done yet, there are plans to expand its ban to include Korean TV progams as well.
Popular Korean TV programs distributed online have become the newest target of the Chinese government's relaliation against South Korea for its decision to bring in the THAAD missile defense system.
On Sunday various Chinese media outlets cited an influential account on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, which stated that "Chinese video-streaming sites have stopped updating Korean programs for obvious reasons" starting February 24th.
For instance, the video site Youku, which has more than 500 million monthly active users, has stopped uploading episodes of the popular Korean entertainment show "Running Man" that have aired this year.
The ban also applies to the newest episodes of popular Korean dramas, such as "Uncontrollably Fond," which has attracted more than 4-point-1 billion views on Youku since it started last July, comparable to the 4-point-4 billion views achieved by the hit-series "Descendents of the Sun," which aired during the first-half of 2016.
But it seems that efforts to restrict or suppress the Korean Wave are also targeting domestic T.V. programs, especially the ones that have been strongly influenced by Korean TV shows.
For instance, the Chinese music-competition show "I am a Singer," which copied the Korean original's title as well as its core concepts, recently changed its title to simply "Singer," in order to distance itself from its Korean equivalent.
The latest restrictions on content follow a series of informal orders recently issued by the Chinese government that have discouraged members of the country's entertainment industry from collaborating with Korean producers and actors.