The popularity of the Korean actor Kim Soo Hyun of the recently finished SBS drama "You Who Came From The Stars" is still at the apex, especially in China. When will this Hallyu popularity stop? What are we missing in this Hallyu popularity in China?
Chen Ri Zhu of Max Times is in charge of copyright issues for Korean dramas in China, and contracting Korean actors to model different Chinese markets. He said in an interview, "The one time popularity is what the Korean actors made up." He added that Korean actors will learn a lot of lessons from actress Song Hye Kyo, who is still actively working in China.
According to Chen Ri Zhu, when Hallyu stars become popular in China, they are often overwhelmed. Chen Ri Zhu said, "One actor modeled a very cheap brand in China, which did not suit his elegant, luxurious image, which resulted in cold response from the Chinese fans." He added, "Korean actors become popular quickly, but they also descend from the popularity quickly. There has been a saying that when Korean actors become popular, they come to China and leave after making money. When there is a good, meaningful event, Chinese actors will come without a pay or even pay to participate in the event. Korean actors, on the other hand, would not come unless they are paid."
"In addition, Chinese think that, when you make a certain amount of money that exceed the threshold, you give back to the society, but we have not heard many accounts of Korean actors giving back to the society. So we think, you get popular once with one drama, and leave after making money."
The extraordinary exception is actress Song Hye Kyo. After gaining popularity with drama "Autumn Story," she shared a number of good works including the recent collaboration with movie director Wong Kar Wai. She also selected only the brands that suited her image when filming TV commercials, which added to building her personal brand. Of course, the problem with quick rising, quick descending popularity is not the sole responsibility of the Korean actors or entertainment agencies. Chen Ri Zhu said one of the problems of Chinese entertainment industry is that it is very hard for novice actors to break into the industry, because of how the TV dramas are produced and marketed. Chen Ri Zhu added, "Chinese people are aware that the quality of TV drama making in Korea is high, and like Korean actors. If the Hallyu stars want to continue to build their popularity in China, they need to try to understand the Chinese culture and control their personal brands accordingly."