MAMA (Photo : Mnet K-POP/YouTube)
Even if China has banned Hallyu, the eighth Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) would still be held in Hong Kong on Friday, Dec. 2. A Korean company, CJ E&M, host of the event, said MAMA would proceed without major problems.
It’s because even if MAMA was the favorite stage of YG Entertainment artists such as PSY, BIGBANG and 2NE1, the overseas schedules of the artists prevent them from performing at the event. China could also insist on implementing the ban on Hallyu because of South Korea’s deployment of a U.S. missile defense system, South China Morning Post reported.
However, there are instances when China’s ban, because of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, is not implemented. In August, “Descendants of the Sun” actor Song Joong-ki was able to promote a Chinese cosmetic brand that he endorses at the Qizhong stadium in Shanghai.
But Vivo, a smartphone manufacturer in Shanghai, pulled out its commercial of Song Joong-ki endorsing the brand because of the Hallyu ban. Vivo, nevertheless, paid the 31-year-old actor the 22.8 million yuan ($3.4 million) talent fee agreed upon.
Shin Hyung-kwan, head of Mnet’s music content business, said that in the 20 years they have been in the Hallyu business, small problems always crop up all the time. He cited a change in regulations of the Japanese TV industry that required Mnet to downsize the content of its Korean market. Shin said they picked Hong Kong as the site of 2016’s MAMA since the Chinese special administrative region meets all the requirements, such as cultural diversity and location, to host the annual music awards ceremony.
PSY, who opened the 2015 MAMA, and the other YG talents have replied that they would not attend this year’s MAMA because of their prior commitments in other countries, Kang Hee-jeong, director of MAMA, said International musicians such as Wiz Khalifa, Timbaland and Quincy Jones will perform at the music awards expected to be attended by 10,000 people.
Among the nominees to the MAMA are Korean artists such as BLACKPINK for Best New Female Artist, EXO for Best Male Group, GFRIEND for Best Female Group and PSY for Best Male Artist.