China may be warming up to Korea again: PyeongChang Olympics special and celebrity wedding coverage reveal relations are improving
After the Korean government finalized its plans to deploy the Thaad missile defense system in July 2016, the diplomatic conflict between Seoul and Beijing spread to all parts of the economy, including arts and entertainment.
Korean celebrities were altogether removed from view as Chinese television channels stopped featuring Korean celebrities or airing Korean dramas, and advertisements featuring Korean celebrities were taken down. Even online media outlets were forced to stop importing Korean content.
Yet, tensions seem to be softening after the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China concluded on Oct. 24. The two countries revealed they were “normalizing” their relations on Oct. 31.
Phoenix New Media, a Chinese website dedicated to information on Korea, aired a live stream of the torch relay on Nov. 1. The stream had more than 500 thousand viewers over four hours.
It seems that Chinese outlets are newly eager to get the latest entertainment news in Korea as well, as a Chinese drone was found to be illegally recording the wedding of Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo on Oct. 31, streaming it live to Weibo, China’s biggest social network. The live stream of the wedding hit no. 1 on multiple search engines.
Meanwhile on Oct. 31, a Chinese fan posted a photograph of girl group Mamamoo at the Chengdu airport on Weibo. There had been rumors that Mamamoo was staying in China and has been shooting a program with Sichuan TV. However, Rainbowbridge World, Mamamoo’s agency, revealed that the girl group was visiting China only to perform at the “ABU Song Festival” which is an annual gala show hosted by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, and China just happened to be this year’s host.
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]