Recently there has been a surge of Korean actors being casted in productions from Chinese speaking countries and they are determined to step up the Hallyu fever to greater heights in those places.Han Ji-hye has been casted as the lead female role in the drama 'Cheon Dang Soo' in China, Song Hye-gyo was busy filming the movie 'Il Dae Jong Sa'(一代宗師) by top Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, Jeon Ji-hyeon is also in China at the moment for her movie 'Seol Hwa wa Bi Mil ui Bu Chae', while Jang Hyeok is filming a Chinese version of the Korean drama 'All about Eve' in China as well.
Japanese Market Is Saturated
First of all, in the opinion of domestic management companies in Korea, the intake of more Hallyu star into the Japanese market have reached a saturation point.Even though, the first generation of Hallyu stars such as Bae Yong-jun, Park Yong-ha, Ryu Shi-won, and others, including some newer batch such as Jang Dong-geon, Hyeon Bin, Won Bin, Lee Min-ho, Kim Beom etc have all garnered huge popularity but for the latecomers to penetrate into the Japanese market is somewhat difficult as the Hallyu stars 'share of pie' has become limited.
Roy Media Vice President Kim Tae Hyeong said, "Be they actors or singers, the number of fan meeetings or concerts they have in Japan are rising but what they receive has become limited.According to reports data, there has been media manipulating saying that some thousand people thronged the concerts and meetings but if looked carefully, some fan meetings didn't even reach a few hundreds of people.Also, among the stars who came to Japan, some have excessive arrogant behaviour and attitude which tarnished the image of Korean celebrities in general".
Attention From Chinese Regions
Drama productions in Mainland China tendency to cast Korean stars is an example of how popular Korean dramas are there.In the earliest days, the main person who started the Hallyu boom in the Chinese regions was Jang Seo-hui through her drama 'In-eo Agasshi' which then landed her a role in a Chinese drama 'Kyeong Ja Pung un'.Jang Na-ra is quite active as a singer and actress in China and she is much loved in around the Chinese regions where she acted in CCTV 'Eun Saek Yeon Hwa', Beijing BTV 'Chun je Wan Hui','Cheol Myeon Ga Nyeo' and several others.Chae Rim also acted in China in 'Kang Hui Bi Sa', in Hong Kong in 'Shin Chwi Ta Geum Ji',in Taiwan in 'Jeong Jeong Ae Geum Hae' and 'Yang Mun Ho Jang', gaining lots of popularity.More recently, Song Hye-gyo, Jeon Ji-hyeon, Han Ji-Hye, Jang Hyeok and several others have also contributed to the Hallyu boom.
Money Pay In Chinese Regions: 2 Times Than In Korea
Roy Media Vice President Kim Tae Hyeong added that,"The pay per appearance in Mainland China is twice of those in Korea and the same goes with fan meetings.Obviously the population in China is larger hence more target audiences, it would take almost a year for a Korean star to do fan meetings all over China so of course, it goes without saying that the pay should be high as well."
Side Income In Chinese Regions: A Dozen Times Than In Korea
Considering the massive number of viewers across China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Chinese-speaking places, doing commercials alone will easily surpass the highest commercial pay in Korea which is around 5 million won.Due to this and the fact that the competition in Korea entertainment industry is so high and tough, companies preparing those who are interested in breaking into the Chinese market are on the rise too.An official from the management company of an actress commented that,"Presently our actors' image is more geared towards the Chinese market than the Japanese ones so apart from their usual activities in Korea, they are also learning the Chinese language enthusiastically.And if a proposal from good directors or productions from the Chinese regions come, there's no reason why we should turned them down.Anyway, it's not for the actors only, as for the company to have a chance to break into the Chinese market, that is a good thing too."
Taiwan: New Hub for Asia Joint Projects
Taiwan has surfaced as the new central hub for Asian joint projects.Roy Media has set the motion for joint projects between Taiwan, Japan, and Korea and in an interview with its president Na Gwang-hoon,"Taiwan came into action as a hub to market Japanese cultural contents so that it would be more easier for the Mainland China to accept them naturally.In Mainland China, more or less, they still reject programs with Japanese contents, it's still there(the sentiments) but in Taiwan, they accept it first so the rejection thing has now become more and more obsolete.This is why we chose Taiwan as the hub to market Japanese productions."
Another reason why Taiwan became a hub is that, "Between China and Korea, the system and culture is different, direct dealing will be hard because of this, many problems will arise such as actors/singers not getting full payment,copyright issues and many more but if they go through Taiwan, it's a lot more transparent.In addition, there are some parts in terms of drama production that is more developed in Taiwan and the environment here is good too.Moreover,Taiwan has direct interchange with China and it's basically the same with the mainland, culture-wise so there shouldn't be any problem in terms of communication."
The recent Korean drama 'Cain and Abel' starring So Ji-seob, Han Ji-min, Shin Hyeon-jun and Chae Jeong-an will be aired all over Taiwan through STAR TV this month.President Na added, "Korean dramas aired in Taiwan are available through satellite in more than half of Mainland China area and thus, Korean dramas broadcasted from Taiwan are seen across the main Chinese regions and in return, increasing the influence of the respective dramas' actors."