Indeed, despite America’s role in the deployment of THAAD in Seoul, Washington has escaped China’s reaction with South Korea by taking the fill instead. China is extremely transformed in the United States of this kind of retaliation, especially since the election of Donald Trump. This was particularly true this week, while Chinese technology giant ZTF was fined $ 1.19 billion by the administration Found to have broken the US sanctions, which saw ZTF sell US telecommunications equipment in Iran And in North Korea.

China actively deduces this story, while focusing on the actions of South Korea to play the role of victim and arouse nationalistic feelings. The government-led Global Times described the framework for China’s representation: “We began by increasing the sanctions against Seoul in an orderly manner, lowering the overall level of Sino-South Korean trade and Overthrow All privileges that Seoul acquired from China]. ”

China targets Seoul power

To this end, China is a freeze of new licenses for video games and requests from travel agencies to stop selling packages in South Korea from 15 March. As a result Korean Air has already seen a 10% increase in cancellations for flights between March 7 and April 30. Korean popular music and television series have also been withdrawn from streaming services. Individual Koreans are also not immune, the Chinese tour of soprano Jo Sumi being canceled due to visa delays. Kim Ji-young was replaced as a leader in the April performance of the same day, with a Guiyang Symphony Orchestra, a canceled summer and a dancer. Swan Lake.

China targets cultural exports in an attempt to reduce the soft power of Seoul on the continent. With the lack of entertainment and cultural trade between the two fermons in favor of Seoul, China has the popularity of Korean products into a weapon against South Korea. More specifically, Beijing uses the ubiquitous nature of South Korean products and entertainment to raise public awareness of the issue of THAAD and mobilize ordinary citizens to take a stand.

While the government needs limited success of raising awareness of complicated foreign relations issues by traditional means, Beijing can hang on to the popularity of Korean products. By attaching a simplified version of the story (Korea insults us, boycotts them) to the ubiquitous host of Korean shows, music, movies and other products, the government can engage with (especially) youth Chinese – the people most in tune with Korean soft power and fashions, and the people whose government needs to maintain its legitimacy. Korean soft-power is a major player in China: Romantic drama Uncontrollably Founded alone at 4.1 billion youtube views Youku in China.

We love BigBang, but our administrator is an even bigger and crazier fan of China
We love BigBang, but our administrator is an even bigger and crazier fan of China – BigBang Weibo fan page

This is not the first time that Korean cultural exports have become a political issue, with Beijing warning citizens one last of the popularity of Descendants du Soleil. The government said that “watching Korean dramas could be dangerous and even lead to legal unrest” during a period of tension linked to the THAAD in 2016. Similarly, the slogan “no idols before the country” has become a Hashtag trend in the summer of 2016 While tensions with South Korea have seen many fans of pop and Chinese television K deny their favorite Korean celebrities so far; Such as boys groups BigBang, EXO, iKON, and actors Song Joong Ki, Lee Jong Suk and Park Shin Hye.

South Korea feels the power of social media

While the government has argued that any call for a boycott are purely voluntary measures taken by the public, the fact that the Central Committee of the Weibo account of the Communist Youth League calls for a boycott undermines this assertion. The limited social media environment in China, dominated by domestic applications and websites, combined with strong government oversight, allows the author to develop viral trends. The key to this is the legions of cyber-warriors, collectively known as the militia of the Internet volunteers of China.


Companies Straddle the Wave of Viral Marketing

This trend is illustrated by Weilong Latiao’s decision to withdraw its snacks from the Lotte stores. Since more than half of Lotte’s stores are closed and the rest suffers from massive declines in the customer flow, this is not a painful decision for Weilang. Indeed, the movement paid off because images of shelves devoid of Weilong’s products went viral on Weibo, with the company being praised for its patriotism. The company also saw increased sales of its spicy stick snacks (now the Chinese version of “Freedom Fries”) as the Chinese Patriotic Reward the company for its sales strategy. Weilong even garnered praise from the government via a flattering article in the popular daily. Rival Taodo also announced that he pulled his snacks from Lotte stores, in order to copy the success of Weilong marketing.

Other Chinese companies have also followed the same example, as the electronics maker Pisen, whose media accounts said that “Weilong brother set a good example for us. As another national affair, Pisen greets you! “Other companies that cash on the viral trend include Xiaomi, Pigs Small Holidays, Yizi Works, Malan Mounts and many others.

The boycott of South Korea has become a strange mixture of viral awareness at the Ice Cube Challenge, combined with a slacktivist take on geopolitics similar to KONY 2012. Besides the viral marketing value of the entire company, the storm Social Media Against South Korea Stresses the role of clicktivism / slacktivism. These terms were invented to describe emotional (and ultimately meaningless) “militancy” acts. Buying Weilong’s spicy snacks or omitting your favorite K-pop star is not going to change Seoul’s defense policy, but it allows ordinary Chinese to feel like they’re engaged and hit a blow against the Perceived insults.

These indolent acts allow Chinese Internet users to feel empowered, while draining their motivation to both protest more (the form that Beijing can not predict) or criticize the government’s excess of power on the issue. Pressing companies to abandon popular Korean products could easily have failed on Beijing, as many Chinese households consume them. Yet their popularity has helped shape the issue as an issue that affects ordinary citizens. By connecting THAAD to K-pop, Beijing has masterfully co-operated social media, attracting average consumers and showing them that nationalism is just a click away.source


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