Political tension between South Korea and China is adversely affecting South Korea's entertainment industry.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, television stations in the Chinese province of Guangdong have been told by the national media watchdog that approvals won't be granted for programmes featuring South Korean pop stars. This could probably be due to South Korea's decision to deploy a U.S. developed missile shield that China opposes.
"They told us to postpone any plans for new programmes that involve South Korean stars or copyright for South Korean TV shows," one source told the publication. "They said we would not get approval, even if we made such plans."
The order was passed verbally a few days ago by officials from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, the source added.
Another industry insider revealed that it was "almost impossible" to obtain approval for content from regulators. "We haven't seen any written bans from the administration, but people in the industry are quite worried and many have said they would avoid taking on any work that involves South Korean dramas recently," she said.
Those dramas that have already been approved will continue to be aired.
Korean dramas such as "Descendants of the Sun," which premiered in China in February, was immensely popular and it was a trending topics on Weibo, a social networking medium similar to Twitter.
Soon after the Korean military drama starring Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo aired, Cina's Ministry of Public Security took to Weibo to warn of the social ills of viewing too many dramas. "Watching Korean dramas could be dangerous, and may even lead to legal troubles," the ministry warned, pointing out certain real-life cases of domestic violence and divorce that stemmed out of an obsession with Korean dramas.