The word “Korean wave” originated from Go, which was
originally proposed by the Chinese media and was widely used by South Korean
media and academia to refer to surge in the international visibility of Korean
culture. It is also called “hallyu” in Korea, “starting in East Asia in the
1990s and continuing more recently in the United States, Latin America, the
Middle East, and parts of Europe” (Ravina,2008, p.1).

This paper is an attempt to research, with a focus
on the phenomenon of the “Korean Wave”. First, this paper analyzes why it is so
popular in Asia, and then illustrates its economic and cultural influence on
China. Ultimately, this paper explores how China deals with the phenomenon of
the “Korean Wave.” In my opinion, it can not only bring some benefits to China,
but also bring some negative effects to China. China should consider how to
combine Chinese and South Korea cultures together to inherit and develop our
own traditional culture.

Main Body

II. Findings about factors

First, it may attribute to South Korea’s competitive
cultural industry. Because South Korea is small and has a small population,
which led to a limitation of cultural and entertainment consumption. Therefore,
they have to open their eye to the world in its cultural development strategy.

Second, opening of cultural market has also
contributed to the Korean wave. With the development of Korean economy, the
government began to have an attempt to look around the world in their strategy
of developing culture. They know how to manipulate their culture to attract
people all over Asia.

Last but not least, it is also dependent on the
government’s strong support. The South Korean government always pays attention
to the development of its own national culture and attached importance to the
export of indigenous cultures. For example, after the rise of Korean culture,
it opened the postgraduate program of Korean culture research in many famous
universities, which is used for the development of Korean culture.

III. How it influenced China

Frame I: Substantially brought
economic effects

people were closer to Korean culture thanks to access to popular culture, even
if they have never been to South Korea.” (Chen,2006). Furthermore, an intimate
cooperative relationship between the two countries has been maintained well in
the political, economic, cultural and educational fields in recent years. “Based
on official ROK statistics released late last year, China ranked number one in
Korea’s annual foreign trade.” (Yang, 2009). Close economic cooperation has
made the two countries’ citizens contact more frequently. In a sense, the
Korean wave has promoted China’s economic development.

Frame II: Mentally affected
the values of Chinese audiences

“Korean pop culture’s entry into China officially
began with the export of drama series “Jealousy” and “Eyes at Daybreak” in
1993. However, the actual impact became remarkable after “What is Love” was
broadcast on Channel 1 of China Central Television in 1997.Since Korean dramas
guaranteed high ratings, Chinese TV broadcasting stations began to
competitively import popular Korean shows,” (Jiang,2012). such as “Kwaegeol
Chun-hyang”, “Witch Yoo Hee”, “You from the stars”,
etc. In my mind, I saw “Dae Jang Geum” when I was a kid, which showed
their food culture to me and impressed me a lot. Furthermore, these dramas also
have surprise plots and excellent sense, which attract Chinese people a lot,
especially for women.

In my mind, there are also many interesting variety
shows introduced from South Korean in China, such as “running man”, “I am a
singer”, “Dad, where will we go”, etc. Through these shows, Chinese audiences
can fell the life style and culture in South Korea. To be honest, I like “I am
a singer” especially, which makes me feel really relaxed. In a word, whether
dramas or variety shows, they both mentally affect Chinese audiences’ values by
showing their thoughts and different culture to us.

Frame III: Love/hate
relationships: China and South Korea

Do you hear the word “Korea hit”? It has promoted
the cultural exchanges and integration between China and South Korea. As I
mentioned before, there are many TV series and variety shows introduced to
China from Korea. South Korea has successfully opened a big market because of
the huge demand for Korean pop culture. Through these shows, China can learn
the excellent culture in South Korea, which helps to improve our own
traditional culture. In addition, it can also promote exchanges between each
other, resulting in a better relationship with South Korea. Last but not least,
we can also learn their successful experience of development, which is very
instructive for China’s development.

However, the one-way flow of Korean cultural goods
to China made them create an increasing imbalance in cultural trade between the
two countries. (Ryoo, 2009) What’s more, with the signing of the THAAD system
in South Korea, China is likely to limit development of the Korean Wave. What I
know is that “I am a singer”, introduced from South Korea, changed its name for
“Singer” in 2017, and South Korean singers were not invited in this variety
show again. Furthermore, Chinese people found that many Korean variety shows
could not be broadcast in 2017. In this regard, it is possible implementation
of “restriction on South Korea”. In fact, the Korean culture has a certain
influence on local culture, which is not conducive to the inheritance of
traditional Chinese culture. As we are college students, we should have the
ability to judge value, and we can’t be eroded by foreign culture. Meanwhile,
China should not only just absorb foreign culture, but also learn how to
inherit and develop our own traditional culture.

IV. Conclusion

There are three main factors resulting in the Korean
wave in Asia: competitive cultural industry, opening of cultural market, and
the government’s strong support in South Korean. Since it has spread to China,
it has not only brought economic and cultural benefits to us, but also gave
rise to some negative effects to us.

As far as I am concerned, we should not be fooled by
gorgeous appearances, nor should we use the term “Korean Wave” as the word “fashion”.
What deserves our consideration is how to combine Chinese and foreign cultures
together. Only in this way, can we not only see the progress of innovation, but
also retain the characteristics of Chinese traditional culture.

Of course, it is still too early and difficult to
predict the future of the Korean wave based simply on the recent trends in the
media and this paper’s illustration. (Lee,2009) We should keep doing research
on it. But I believe the Korean wave will not totally disappear in China,
because it has now spread to become part of people’s lives and economy in many
Asian countries.


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