Earlier this month, China initiated a new ban on Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, especially K-dramas. It was argued the ban came about after K-dramas My Love From The Stars and Descendants of the Sun dominated Chinese television within the past three years. Some of the reasons for the ban include Chinese officials claiming K-dramas surpassing the majority of C-dramas “hurts China’s culture dignity” and the Chinese people being affected, for reasons such as skipping work to watch K-dramas or suffering health-related issues through binge watching.
There are other hypothesized reasons for China’s ban on Hallyu. One reason is that it was a response to South Korea initiating the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an anti-missile system to counter the increasing threat from North Korea’s missile program. Another reason is that China wants to further the influence of C-dramas to become the leader in Asian entertainment.
To be frank, K-dramas that are usually popular in China are technically popular all around. China just so happens to be the one country that provides the most profit for successful K-dramas. With that in mind, Uncontrollably Fond is a K-drama that is a bit of an enigma. For some reason, Uncontrollably Fond is very popular in China despite it not doing so well elsewhere. In South Korea, it suffered a diminishing viewership rating going down to the single digits. It just recently got interesting causing a viewership spike, but it is still mostly in the single digits.
The Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) is depending on Chinese fandom to cover the lack of popularity everywhere else. Fan meetings are a great tool to bolster the fandom and Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy were about to have one in China too. Unfortunately, their fan meeting had to be postponed. This brings up the question of if China’s ban on Hallyu is now affecting Uncontrollably Fond?
The news was first reported by Korean news outlet Joins through a translation by HanCinema. According to the report, Chinese fans of Uncontrollably Fond (also known as Lightly, Ardently) demanded to see both Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy, the lead actors of the K-drama. It is even reported that the president of Hoi Group requested for the two stars to be brought to China. Unfortunately, the fan meeting that was set up had to be pushed back.
One would believe China’s ban on Hallyu would be the reason for the postponement of the fan meeting, but apparently that is not the case. According to KdramaStars, the reason given for postponing Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy’s fan meeting are natural disaster matters. Still, the official reason has not been fully accepted among Chinese fans, as many still speculate one of the reasons for China’s ban on Hallyu to be why the fan meeting was postponed.
At this point, only time can tell if Kim Woo Bin and Bae Suzy’s fan meeting with Chinese fans will take place. If it does not, they will be busy with other fan meetings and post-production promotions given that Uncontrollably Fond finished filming on August 12.
Uncontrollably Fond airs on KBS on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. KST. It will air simultaneously in China, North America, and South America, too. For those in China, it will stream on Youku Tudou. For North and South America, it will air one hour after the Korean airtime, for free with ads, on DramaFever, but is also available on Viki, pending region.
[Image via KBS]