December 9, 2014
Kyu C.Lee, Ceo and Producer of Kino33Entertainment
K-pop has taken the world by storm thanks to Psy’s phenomenon, and China is no exception. A mix of popular songs, comic danses and strong visual elements in its videos, K-pop’s influence is spreading massively across entertainment, video, cosmetics, fashion and electronics industries in particular, and intense word of mouth on social networks.
Kyu C.Lee, born in Seoul (South Korea), is the Ceo and Producer of Kino33Entertainment, specializing in film and music entertainment industries. Known as “Q” in Hollywood and in the Korean Entertainment Industry (@qflava), Kyu was in 2012 at the forefront in globalizing PSY’s hit song “Gangnam Style ».
China Connect : can you tell us how this wave impacted China, and particularly China’s internet ?
Kyu C.Lee : In addition to Psy’s “Gangnam Style”, I saw a Chinese program in which 100 people follow the choreography of Korean singer Lim Chang Jung’s “Open the Door” behind the artist.
People are waiting and looking for new contents that are different from Psy’s. The choreography of Lim Chang Jung’s “Open the Door” is different from that of Psy’s but it shows very comic dance like Psy’s too. This dance has been loved by people a lot.
Lim Chang Jung’s “Open the Door” Clip
Recently in China, Chinese singer Rolling Wang announced a kind of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” dance with the song “Chick Chick”. Before we say which one is better, the trend of songs focused on dance prevails not only in China, but all over the world, and these songs have been loved worldwide. This is the trend that leads to a new culture.
As the interest in Korea rapidly increased due to K-pop, the number of tourists from the world, including China to Korea, has increased over 3 times for the last 2-3 years.
Rolling Wang’s “Chick Chick” clip
The SNS activity by Korean stars in China is very active. Some of them are actively participating through Weibo. Psy has about 25,000,000 Weibo followers and actor Lee Minho about 23,000,000. And many other K-stars are participating in various activities.
K-Pop concerts are held in many places and one of the most remarkable concerts was for the 22nd anniversary of the establishment of Korea-China diplomatic relations, held last June in China.
Among many past concerts, the premiere of “OST Concert” (Original Sound Track). This means there are many K-drama fans and it is understandable to hold a concert titled ‘OST Concert’ because the music in the drama remains in the fans’ heart since the drama hit the jackpot.
Korean social media apps Kakao Talk and Line were disrupted in China and released since August. Currently Whats app and WeChat have +400 million members around the world and Naver Line is an e-commerce enterprise which has about 400 million users too. Line is preparing active business activity in China for the second half of the year.
China Connect : Can you name a few brands that well leverage(d) this huge success?
Kyu C.Lee : Some of the most loved brands of Korea in China and other Asian countries must be cosmetic & beauty items. Amore and Missha have already attracted much attention and their success in these countries is closely related to K-pop. As K-pop and K-dramas are loved by people in these countries in terms of visual aspect, K-stars feel the urge to become the hero or heroine of these brands’ image. People automatically try to use the same products that are promoted in the songs or dramas. Samsung and LG which have already been recognized as world class brands with their excellent quality, accelerated the popularity of Korean brands as they used K-pop stars as their advertising models.
Therefore, it will be worthwhile for foreign investment firms to invest considering the big promising picture of Korean entertainment business.
DBSK group endorsing Korean cosmetics brand MISSHA
Samsung and LG which have already been recognized as world class brands with their excellent quality, accelerated the popularity of Korean brands as they used K-pop stars as their advertising models.
Therefore, it will be worthwhile for foreign investment firms (1) to invest considering the big promising picture of Korean entertainment business.
China Connect : How long do you think this « phenomenon » will last?
Kyu C.Lee : The success of K-pop is not a phenomenon happened in a short period of time. The contents that have been built up for years, are now shining and being loved. K-pop is K-culture. Culture does not disappear suddenly. Korea has developed various contents of drama and music rapidly and they are based on Korean and Asian atmosphere and feelings. K-culture which may be fresh to some people, will establish itself as a new cultural content that can communicate with people all over the world, beyond music and drama.
* Kyu C. Lee will speak at China Connect, March 5-6 in Paris
(1) LG capital (LVMH), based in Singapore, invested in YG Entertainment, producer of PSY
This article was published in :
-English in, JING DAILY: PRODUCER BEHIND PSY’S ‘GANGNAM STYLE’ REVEALS WHY K-POP IS SUCH A SENSATION IN CHINA
-French in, l’ADN: K-POP, LA NOUVELLE VAGUE VENUE D’ORIENT