Netizens became suspicious of the supposed ban when the Chinese adaptation of “Running Man,” a popular South Korean variety show, changed its name to “Keep Running.” (Photo : YouTube/KPopn)
As tensions between China and South Korea escalate due to the latter’s plan to deploy the THAAD system, netizens and fans speculate whether a ban has been imposed on South Korean entertainment, the Global Times reported.
Netizens became suspicious of the supposed ban when the Chinese adaptation of “Running Man,” a popular South Korean variety show, changed its name to “Keep Running.” Producers of the show, however, clarified on its official Sina Weibo that the name change was just “an upgrade.”
Although it’s not the first time Chinese versions of South Korean shows have changed their names, the incident with “Keep Running” was right on time with the heightened tensions between China and South Korea.
Furthermore, the Global Times has reportedly received an anonymous tip. According to the source, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SAPPRFT) ordered last year producers “to halt joint productions with South Korean companies or programs involving South Korean entertainers.”
Xiao Yu, not her real name, also told the Global Times that their team was told by producers to do stop working with South Korean teams for the mean time.
“Even though we have cooperated with producers of many foreign shows recently, we were specifically told to avoid cooperating with South Korean production teams,” Xiao Yu told the Global Times. “As far as I know, we are not allowed to use South Korean directors or scriptwriters.”
Aside from South Korean TV productions, the alienation also appears to have extended to other forms of entertainment, including live performances and films.
Despite the rising popularity of Sino-South Korean films since 2014, China saw fewer co-productions during the latter months of 2016. Those that did make it to the cinemas made little mention of their connections with South Korean partners.
As of press time, the Chinese government has denied the rumors, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denying such allegations way back in Nov. 2016 during a press conference. There are news, however, that China officially banned any such entertainment.