While the world has been riffing on BTS, “Squid Game” and “Parasite,” China has been busily keeping the Korean content wave at bay.
That may be about to change after Tencent Video this week began streaming “Hotel by the River,” a 2018 film about a poet meeting his estranged sons from art-house director Hong Sang-soo.
The move has caused some in the Korea entertainment industry to hail a “partial lifting” of China’s ban. And the president of Korea, Yoon Suk-yeol has already claimed some of the credit. Yoon met with China’s president Xi Jinping last week on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali.
“A Korean film has been aired recently on a Chinese OTT after the six-year ban,” Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, told reporters on Tuesday. “We hope that this small gesture will lead to big, meaningful progress in the future of the bilateral relations of the two countries since the recent summit.”
The ban was imposed due to political-diplomatic concerns, so a government-to-government solution may indeed have been the breakthrough. China objected strongly to the deployment of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Defense missile systems in South Korea in 2018.
South Korea said the systems was necessary to protect itself from its erratic and nuclear armed North Korean neighbor. China said that THAAD’s radar system was capable of spying into its territory.
“The [Korean] president also stressed the need for growing interactions between the younger generations of the two countries. President Xi concurred with the view,” she said. “China responded favorably to Korea with the Chinese OTT releasing the Korean movie.”
– More to follow.
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