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K-pop act films Chinese TV show amid hopes of Beijing lifting 'hallyu ban'

All Headlines 17:02 November 02, 2017

BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Yonhap) -- K-pop quartet Mamamoo has filmed a segment for a Chinese TV music program this week, raising the prospect of Beijing possibly lifting its ban on "hallyu," or South Korean pop culture, sources said Thursday.

The South Korean girl group reportedly arrived in China on Tuesday through Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and recorded a segment for a satellite TV network based in the southwestern province of Sichuan, said a source with knowledge of Korea-Chinese entertainment ties.

"We've confirmed that Mamamoo arrived in China. It is also correct that the team arrived to film a music show," said another source, who has deep knowledge of the Chinese show business industry.

This screenshot taken from Chinese social media platform Weibo shows K-pop girl group Mamamoo (wearing sunglasses) arriving in China through Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Oct. 31, 2017. (Yonhap)

Some fans in China even took photos of Mamamoo arriving at the airport and uploaded them to Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.

Mamamoo's Chinese TV appearance comes after Seoul and Beijing announced Tuesday that they will focus on future cooperation and exchanges while working past their differences over THAAD, a U.S. missile defense system which South Korea is currently hosting.

Beijing has taken what appear to be retaliatory steps against South Korean companies and products in various areas, including a blanket ban on Korean cultural exports like concerts and TV dramas, as well as TV stars appearing on Chinese TV shows.

Major online video services such as iQiyi and Youku Tudou are still refraining from importing Korean dramas but smaller platforms are reportedly moving to purchase and stream Korean TV shows.

"We're aware that some small online video services have contacted Korean companies to resume imports of TV shows. I also foresee some joint Korean-Chinese projects to resume in the near future," another source said.

Also in a rare move, China's state-run CCTV on Wednesday aired a 30-minute special broadcast on the upcoming 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. The program stressed the importance of friendly ties between the two nations.

"Since the THAAD row, CCTV has never run a program on either PyeongChang or South Korea. Airing of the program on Pyeongchang clearly reflects the changing mood (regarding South Korea) in China," a South Korean source in Beijing said.

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