Chinese gov’t sanctions Hallyu content

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Chinese gov’t sanctions Hallyu content

Chinese authorities recently ordered production companies to stop making programs with Hallyu content as well as joint projects with Korea, according to sources in the industry, amid tensions over the deployment of a U.S.-led antimissile system.

A source involved in cultural projects in China who requested anonymity told the JoongAng Ilbo Monday the country’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television held a meeting with producers to halt joint productions with Korean companies or programs involving Korean entertainers.

The state administration is the Chinese government agency responsible for broadcast policy.

While there have been various unofficial measures against Hallyu, or the Korean wave, content and cultural projects, said to be Beijing’s retaliatory response to the decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad, system to Korea, this is the first time Chinese authorities are said to have held such a meeting and explicitly issued such orders.

“At the end of last year, the state administration called China’s major content production companies for a meeting and ordered them to halt sealing contracts with Korean companies for joint productions or bringing in Korean entertainers for productions,” said the source.

The source added that the meeting’s goal originally was to explain to production companies changed regulations on license renewal, but during this process, “ranking officials of the state administration specified Korea by name and issued such a ban.”

Related officials then told them to report on such cases of Chinese producers cooperating with Korean projects if they were discovered.

“It was said that companies that are caught may face disadvantages, but those who reported such cases would be rewarded,” added the source.

The order was not conveyed in writing.

What’s more, multiple industry insiders have said that the production scene in China is showing a change.

Some Korean production companies are participating behind the scenes in the planning or editing process, without Korean entertainers appearing on the program.

“From several years ago since the second boom of Hallyu, there were many programs that were joint projects bringing over Korean producers,” said Kim Ki-heon, head of the Beijing office of the Korea Creative Content Agency, “but recently this has decreased markedly. Chinese producers in the process of reviewing programs are avoiding joint projects [with Korea] predicting disadvantages or marketing difficulties.”

BY YEH YOUNG-JUNE [kim.sarah@joongang.co.kr]
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