• 'The Legend of the Blue Sea' stars Shin Rin Ah, Shin Hye Sun, Lee Hee Joon and Shin Won Ho.

'The Legend of the Blue Sea' stars Shin Rin Ah, Shin Hye Sun, Lee Hee Joon and Shin Won Ho.

First, it was South Korean artists and K-Pop groups that China banned because of Seoul’s planned deployment of the THAAD missiles to the Korean penisula. Now, Beijing added streaming services of South Korean dramas and music on online video sharing platforms.

According to Youku, a popular portal in China that upload South Korean dramas, it would no longer post video clips of South Korean entertainment programs beginning Friday, Feb. 24, the website wrote on its social media account, KBS World Radio reported. Youku pointed to China’s retaliatory measures as the reason behind expanded Hallyu ban.

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THAAD Just an Excuse by Beijing

However, an official of a South Korean entertainment company said that Beijing is just using the THAAD missiles as an excuse to ban Hallyu. He said that long before the THAAD issue cropped up, China wanted to curb the growing popularity of Korean cultural influence as part of the growing anti-Korean sentiment in China.

Yoon, the official, said the curbing of Korean influence was because Chinese TV stations were airing Korean dramas on prime time which China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television did not like. Korean drama boomed on Chinese TV when the series “My Love from the Star” was broadcast, KoreaTimes reported.

Stalled Investment

From 2014 to 2015, Chinese TV producers began to tap the expertise of South Korean producers to help them create popular content for Chinese TV. On talent pirated by Chinese TV producers was Kim Young-hee, star producer of “I Am a Singer.” The producer invested 30 billion won or 1.5 billion per episode, none of which has been aired.

Meanwhile, because China’s CCTV has fixed its drama series schedule for the next 10 years, the next option for Korean shows is to use online channels such as Baidu or Soho, but China has now also controlled that option and blocked Korean content on online streaming sites. Despite the ban, illegal streaming sites such as those that air the popular TV drama “The Legend of the Blue Sea” have risen, according to Korean Herald.