Laurence Lim Dally, CEO of CHERRY BLOSSOMS
China Connect: The Korean wave in China is not recent: why is it that we feel there’s a lot more talk about it nowadays (if I’m not wrong ?) ?
Laurence Lim Dally: It’s true, the Korean craze entered China in the mid 1990’s, mostly through TV series, although it was rapidlly limited because of the Chinese Government restrictions…
It creates more buzz nowadays because Internet considerably boosted the audience and because its scope is now much broader, encompassing music, entertaining programs, but also cosmetics, fashion or food… and having a huge impact on Chinese lifestyle.
China Connect: Cosmetics, Apparel, Electronics are industries that most leverage/convey this Korean craze buzz: do you see any other industries which should take the bandwagon ?
Laurence Lim Dally: Because Koreans TV series are selling a comprehensive aspirational lifestyle to Chinese, I believe many lifestyle products and brands embodying the West – from golf to wine and furniture design, could take advantage of this craze. In particular, the food & beverage industry, notably coffee chains, may have great opportunities.
China Connect: What are the key characteristics of this “Korean craze”, and how do you see it evolve ?
Laurence Lim Dally: The key characteristic of the “Hallyu” is its incredible resonance with Chinese. Koreans are at the same time very aspirational for Chinese – they stand for beauty, style, and somehow, American culture; and at the same time, they’re very easy to identify with for Chinese, not least as Asian fellows, but also because they share the same Confucian values like the respect for the elderly, or loyalty between friends.
It’s interesting to notice that Korean TV series would often depict generational conflicts, where eventually, children would find a way to make their own choices, but without breaking up with their family. Also, sex scenes would be more than rare in Korean dramas, praising romance, and “pure”, innocent love.
How long will this Korean craze last? China is not new to Asian trends, having already seen come and go the Hong Kong, Taiwanese and Japanese crazes.
I like to think that the next wave in China will be the revival of a new “Chinese-ness” …
Watch Laurence Lim Dally on Thoughtful China: “Decoding Korea’s Influence in China”:
Laurence’s Blog: www.cherrybchina.com
Laurence Lim-Dally will be speaking at China Connect, Thursday 5 March 2015: www.chinaconnect.fr