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K-pop stars could be the unlikely first casualties of Seoul’s decision to deploy a U.S.-made missile defense system on the Korean peninsula in spite of vocal opposition from China.
Speculation is rife that China will retaliate by limiting South Korean media and stars from its huge entertainment market.
According to two sources cited by the South China Morning Post, China’s national media regulator informed TV stations in Guangdong Province that TV shows featuring South Korean pop stars would not be granted approval to air “in the near future.”
Meanwhile, shares in South Korean entertainment companies took a dive Tuesday as investors bet that the firms would be hit by impending restrictions from China. SM Entertainment Co., known for such K-pop super-groups as Girls’ Generation, closed down 5.3 percent, according to Bloomberg. YG Entertainment Corp., the company known for producing Psy, fell 8 percent.
South Korean pop music and TV dramas are among the most popular imported entertainment content in China. South Korean film companies have also had increasing success in selling remake rights and co-producing genre pictures with Chinese studios. It’s not yet clear whether Beijing’s chill toward South Korea could extend into the film sector.
China’s state media has issued a barrage of articles slamming Seoul’s decision to go forward with the defense shield. South Korea argues that it is necessary given the nuclear threat from North Korea, while Beijing says it poses a threat to Chinese security.
In an editorial Monday, The People’s Daily warned that Korea’s decision to install the missile system would only “bring fire upon itself.” In a follow-up Tuesday, the state-backed paper accused the U.S. of damaging the security and strategic interests of China and Russia by using regional “security threats” as a cover.
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