Now it’s time for On Point, where we speak to experts to delve deeper into the biggest news stories in the spotlight right now.
In September, the Chinese social media giant Weibo banned a BTS fan club from posting for two months, accusing it of raising funds illegally.
The account, which had over a million followers, was mainly to discuss BTS member, Jimin.
Dozens of other fan accounts for IU, Blackpink and EXO were also suspended for a month.
According to industry sources, Weibo accounts operated by K-pop stars were unable to upload new posts since last year, BUT just last month, the bans were lifted, allowing them to communicate with their Chinese fans again.
Some analysts say the initial bans could’ve been a hang over from the 2016 deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system - THAAD - in South Korea, which angered China and prompted it to impose a strict ban on imports of Korean cultural content.
For more, we connect to Jenna Gibson, a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Chicago.
Good morning, Jenna. What do you think of Weibo’s recent lifting of restrictions content related to Korean culture? Could this be a sign of easing Seoul-Beijing tensions?
We hope this minor concession by Beijing leads to healthier relations going forward. However, do you think the entertainment ban badly impact the Korean entertainment industry? And do you think Korean entertainment agencies will slowly start re-exploring the lucrative Chinese market?
In September, China also told broadcasters to ban what it labeled “sissy men” that were “too effeminate” to appear on TV. This was considered part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s edict enforcing “national rejuvenation.” What did Xi mean by “national rejuvenation” and why is China so threatened by external cultural influences?
Finally, the two countries have designated 2021-to 2022 as a cultural exchange year. On Tuesday, officials from Seoul and Beijing met to discuss economic cooperation. They talked about China’s ban on Korean cultural content as well as the urea solution shortage in South Korea. How do you analyze that meeting, will anything fruitful come out of it?
Well, we appreciate your insights, Jenna. It’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds. Thanks for joining us.