Korean Wave Waning in Asian Nations

By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter (The Korea Times)

Asians are not as satisfied with Korean pop culture as they used to be, according to a report released Tuesday.

Citizens of four Asian countries are becoming more discontented with South Korean films, pop music and dramas, the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) said, citing results of a survey it commissioned. A total of 2,109 citizens in Beijing, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei, aged 15 to 59, responded to the survey conducted from early September to October.

Chinese respondents who said they were satisfied with the content of Korean dramas decreased from 72 percent in 2004 to 63.3 percent, while in Taiwan the figure dwindled from 62 percent to 57.9 percent. The dissatisfied increased from 5 percent to 5.4 percent in China, and from 1 percent to 3 percent in Taiwan.

Korean films also seem to be losing ground, according to the report. Those who were satisfied with Korean films dwindled from 60 percent to 54.6 percent in Japan, from 75 percent to 59.7 percent in China, and from 49 percent to 42.1 percent in Taiwan.

“The Korean wave seems to have passed its peak and has started to slow down in growth,” the report said. “We need to develop an advanced strategy for cultural products and to seek ways to spread universal cultural values instead of relying on a few celebrities.”

Stars who first launched the Korean wave, however, seem to enjoy continuing popularity. Actor Bae Yong-joon, who is affectionately called Yonsama in Japan, topped the lists of “best-known Korean stars” and “Korean stars whom I liked for the first time” in Japan. Actress Kim Hee-sun, meanwhile, was widely popular in China, topping the two lists.

Singer Rain, who is also known by the name Jung Ji-hoon when acting, came in first in the list of newly favorite Korean stars, with 3.8 percent in China and 6.3 percent in Taiwan.

Consumers of the Korean wave in other Asian countries are mainly made up of educated people in their 20s or conservative people in their 50s, the report said. “We need to establish strategies that can appeal to the refined city sentiment of the trend-spotting people in their 20s as well as those in their 50s who are interested in humanism based on traditional Confucian values,” it said.
Source: times.hankooki.com

doozy: The Korean wave phenomenon obviously isn’t gonna last forever so it’s only natural that people are losing interest. I wonder though, whether or not people are getting bored with the trite and cliche formula and storylines that made the wave in the first place.