Chinese entertainment faces tough competition from Korean dramas
With the growing popularity of hit Korean dramas like My Love From Another Star in China, the Chinese domestic television industry is struggling to keep citizens engaged with national content. Chinese leaders are now lamenting the impact the K-drama craze is having on China's "cultural self-esteem."
Stories about a Chinese woman who suffered a heart attack while watching My Love From Another Star, and China's new obsession with Korean fried chicken and beer demonstrate China's intense new love for K-dramas.
It seems that the recent popularity of My Love From Another Star, which has reportedly been watched 14.5 billion times on one Chinese broadcasting site alone, is even challenging traditional gender roles. The Guangzhou's Time Weekly reported, "The handsome male characters have also encouraged Chinese women to demand their men take more care with their appearance, it noted. By contrast, the archetype of a male character in Chinese dramas is someone who is careless and nagging but generally a good person. Korean dramas on the other hand like their male leads to be Prince Charming characters."
The China Daily attributes the rise in Korean drama viewing in China to the fact that the quality of Chinese television programs is just not as high as Korean television programs. They report, "Chinese TV screens are flooded by knock-off and/or poorly made soap operas. Most of the Chinese TV dramas either distort the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, which is a distortion of history, or blindly copy foreign programs. The lack of good stories has of late resulted in loads of TV series on time travel or fights in the harems of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperors. These, in short, are the bane of Chinese TV productions."
It looks like Chinese dramas will have to step up their game to compete with the international spread of K-dramas. Which country is next?