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(2nd LD) China resumes online streaming of S. Korean movie after 6 years

All News 16:46 November 22, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- China has resumed online streaming of a South Korean movie after six years, the presidential office said Tuesday, lifting a ban placed on all Korean cultural content over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in the South.

The decision was made on the occasion of President Yoon Suk-yeol's summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Indonesia last week, Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, said.

The 2019 film, "Hotel by the River," by South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, was earlier reported to be streaming on a Chinese OTT platform.

"During the South Korea-China summit, President Yoon stressed the importance of cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries' peoples, and especially the need for communication between young generations," Kim said during a press briefing.

Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, briefs reporters at the presidential office in Seoul on Nov. 22, 2022. (Yonhap)

Kim Eun-hye, senior presidential secretary for press affairs, briefs reporters at the presidential office in Seoul on Nov. 22, 2022. (Yonhap)

"President Xi expressed his agreement at that time. We believe that on the occasion of this summit, China responded with the OTT measure," she said.

South Korean entertainment was widely popular in China before Beijing imposed a blanket ban on all such content as part of a broader economic retaliation campaign following Seoul's 2016 decision to host a U.S. THAAD battery on its soil.

The Yoon-Xi summit was the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries in nearly three years.

During the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Bali, Yoon said it is time for the two countries' relationship to develop not only in quantitative terms, but also in qualitative terms, according to Kim.

He also said it is important that the two peoples grow to like each other's cultures, and that the young generations "narrow the gap" between them through active exchanges between the two countries, she said.

Xi acknowledged the recent suspension in cultural and people-to-people exchanges, saying it has had a "negative impact" on the two nations' perceptions of each other, and that he hopes for a full restoration of the exchanges, she added.

"We will look forward to a future where China lifts its import ban based on the results of the meaningful meeting between the two countries' leaders and steadily strive for it," Kim said.

Despite the ban, there have been reports suggesting China has begun to loosen its restrictions against Korean cultural content.

Early this year, a Korean drama was reportedly broadcast on a Chinese IPTV channel.


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