Here’s A Timeline Of China’s Ban On Korean Entertainment

In the late 1990s, the term “Korean Wave” was coined by the Chinese press as a way to describe the “wave” of Korean entertainment and pop culture that came to dominate Asia and spread to other parts of the world.

It’s now a multi-billion-dollar industry. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that Chinese companies had invested $2.5 billion in South Korean entertainment over the past five years. But starting around late July and early August of this year, China developed a different attitude toward South Korea’s entertainment: The country started to ban it.

In August, reports on China banning K-pop and other South Korean entertainment emerged.

(Republic of Korea / Creative Commons)(Republic of Korea / Creative Commons)

The New York Times reported that the ban may be a form of backlash for South Korea’s decision to allow a U.S. missile-defense system on its soil. Although China is one of the largest markets for South Korean pop culture, events featuring South Korean pop stars were called off, which ended up hurting the stock of Korean entertainment companies.

Later, China’s top media regulator released new guidelines.

(FOX's "The Simpsons" screenshot)(FOX’s “The Simpsons” screenshot)

It prohibited shows that promote overt admiration for “Western lifestyle,” or jokes about Chinese traditions, CNN reported.

Korean stars were removed from Chinese television drama productions, and K-pop stars were blurred or edited out of shows.

(Gene Wang / Creative Commons)(Gene Wang / Creative Commons)

Additionally, Korean producers told the news outlet that their Chinese partners received verbal notices from China’s Film Bureau about possible restrictions on working with Korea, according to Variety.

South Korean ambassador for public diplomacy Cho Hyun-dong has voiced his concerns about the bans.

(Republic of Korea / Creative Commons)(Republic of Korea / Creative Commons)

On Nov. 28, Cho met with China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, Qian Hongshan. They both stressed that they want to cooperate with each other and continue with public diplomacy, according to Yonhap News Agency.