China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner and many Chinese are big fans of Korean pop culture. But Korean businesses say they are suffering because of a dispute over a missile defense system located in South Korea.
American forces have already begun deploying some parts of the anti-missile system, known as THAAD. U.S. and South Korean officials say the system is needed as a “defensive measure” to counter the threat of missile attacks from North Korea.
But China has repeatedly spoken out against THAAD, saying the U.S. could use the system’s radar technology to monitor Chinese military activity.
For months, Chinese state-run media have called for a boycott of South Korean products over the THAAD deployment. Many South Korean companies and media stars say they have lost business over the dispute.
Among industries suffering economic losses is South Korean entertainment exported to China. Several “K-pop” music stars were forced to cancel planned concerts in China because of visa issues. Some popular South Korean television shows have also reportedly disappeared.
Chinese and South Korean experts see the entertainment industry as intentionally targeted due to Beijing’s opposition to the THAAD system.