K-pop may be victim of missile spat with China

SEOUL • K-pop stars and actors could be the latest victims of South Korea's missile shield spat with China as the nation's entertainment shares fall on fears that its bigger neighbour will restrict access to its media content.

SM Entertainment, known for groups such as Girls' Generation, closed down 5.3 per cent, while YG Entertainment, home to Psy of Gangnam Style fame, fell 8 per cent.

The shares dropped amid speculation that China would regulate South Korean content as relations worsen due to a plan to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, or Thaad, anti-missile system with the United States, Mr Lim Min Kyu, a Seoul-based analyst at Hyundai Securities, told Bloomberg News.

Seoul's decision to deploy the US-developed anti-missile system is strongly opposed by China.

The stocks of South Korean cosmetics makers and tourism-related businesses have also taken a hit in recent weeks, reported South Korean media.

Two sources at local TV stations in the southern province of Guangdong told the South China Morning Post they had received orders from the national media watchdog that new approvals for TV programmes featuring South Korean pop stars would not be granted soon.

"They told us to postpone any plans for new programmes that involve South Korean stars or copyright for South Korean TV shows," one of the sources said.

China is South Korea's biggest trading partner and a top market for the so-called Hallyu, or Korean Wave of popular culture that spans drama, pop music, fashion and cosmetics.

There have been reports of South Korean cosmetics products failing quality tests in China.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2016, with the headline 'K-pop may be victim of missile spat with China'. Print Edition | Subscribe