K-Lifestyle Wiki

Hallyu (Korean Wave)

A term now widely used to refer to the popularity of Korean entertainment and culture across Asia and other parts of the world, Hallyu or the “Korean Wave” first appeared during the mid-1990s after Korea entered into diplomatic relations with China in 1992 and Korean TV dramas and pop music gained great popularity in Chinese-speaking communities. When one of the first successful TV dramas, What Is Love?, was aired by CCTV in 1997, it had an audience rating of 4.2%, meaning that over 150 million Chinese viewers watched it.
Korean pop music, especially dance music, began to gain popularity among Chinese teenagers after it was introduced in earnest in 1997 by a radio program called Seoul Music Room broadcast from Beijing. The decisive moment in igniting Korean pop culture fever in China was the concert of Korean boy band HOT, held at the Beijing Workers’ Gymnasium in February 2000. Korean news reports used the term Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, in describing this concert. The Korean Wave acknowledged in an article published by Beijing Youth Daily as early as November 1999, began to finally be recognized by Koreans themselves from this point.
The Korean Wave landed in Japan in 2003 when the KBS TV drama series Winter Sonata was aired via NHK. The drama became an instant mega hit, making its male hero, Yon Sama, a household name, compelling his enthusiastic Japanese fans to visit various film locations, including Namiseom Island, in Korea.
The ‘Korean Wave’ craze has expanded to Korean traditional culture, food, literature, and language, creating more and more enthusiasts. A great majority of Hallyu-related organizations are K-Pop fan clubs, but there are also various communities of people who are interested in Korean dramas, food, tourism, and more. As of December 2017, a total of 73.12 million people in 92 countries joined these organizations across Asia, Oceania, the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Source: Korean Culture and Information Service 'Facts about Korea'

ReplyPlease leave a comment about any information you wanted to add!
Farah Dineva
3 months ago

If you are a Kpop fan, one of the special experience that you can try in Korea during your trip is joining pre-recording of music shows. During pre-recording, you will be the audience during your Kpop idols' performance. The interesting thing is the process of applying for that show is really amazing because they take it seriously and professional. The application process is announced on 'daum fancafe' of your idols (so you need to install in first). For example, my experience of joining Golden Child pre-recording. I need to apply by form when the staff announces it on fancafe at certain time. If accepted, I must go to the place by bringing the album, lightstick and my ID card. I had to come on time because they had to do 'check-in' and they would give us queue number. It was long wait but the experience of joining music show is priceless because I could see Golden Child's wonderful performance pretty close!

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Korean government has been actively participating and supporting the growth of Hallyu. With the Discover Korea Your Way campaign by the KTO and other Hallyu-wood projects, the government will need to invest heavily and increase their spending throughout the entire journey. In addition, the government will need to work closely with the KTO and other authorities to think of innovative and effective campaigns to boost Hallyu tourist spends. To sustain investing over a long period of time and to see through projects thoroughly will indeed be a daunting task.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

In 2019, Korea earned USD 21.5 billion from tourism, attracting a total of 17.5 million tourists. With South Korea’s international tourist growth forecasted at an annualized rate of 3.3% to hit around 1.8 billion by 2030, the Korean government is planning to increase its tourism revenues to USD 35 billion a year by then. The side effect of this tourist boom has been an increased popularity of Korean cuisine.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Korean government has also built and opened “K-Culture Valley” in Goyang, a Hallyu inspired theme park which would house everything from film studios, Korean restaurants, live music concerts to movie galleries, hotels, shopping malls selling Korean celebrity merchandise and even a Korean theme park at a cost of USD 1.2 billion. The purpose of this theme park has been to put in one place all the interesting components of Hallyu for visitors.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Korean government has also been very active in managing Hallyu outside of Korea by conducting different cultural festivals displaying the Korean offerings, conducting PR campaigns to publicize Korean uniqueness and indirectly helping the entertainment industry by creating a very conducive environment. As of August 2020, the Korean Culture and Information Service has set up 32 Korean Cultural Centers in 28 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and America to promote Hallyu.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

Korea is probably one of the only countries in the world that has a Ministry of Culture (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism to be exact). A division of the ministry, the Popular Culture Industry Division, focuses on Korean pop music, fashion, mass entertainment, comic books, cartoons, and other key products. The division along with three other divisions are referred to as the Cultural Content Office. Its budget is a staggering USD 5.5 billion, with the aim to boost economic growth particularly through growing the country’s cultural industry export industry. Additionally, the Korean government sponsors 20-30% of a USD 1 billion investment fund earmarked to nurture and export popular culture. The remaining funds comes from investment banks and private companies and are managed by the Korean Venture Investment Corporation.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The popularity of leading Korean brands across the world including the US has highlighted certain key dimensions of success for Koreans – superior quality, cutting edge designs and a contemporary feel for the products and services. This lesson has been absorbed by almost all business sectors. This new emphasis has seen an increased investment in research and development in creating products of superior quality. The entertainment products like movies, music, dramas have all been described as having excellent production quality. South Korean movies now are of Hollywood production value and quality. This newfound focus on quality has enticed many new customers and helped sustain the popularity of movies, music, and dramas, which are the main products driving the Korean wave.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Korean government has been and is spending significant funds to develop high-tech Internet infrastructure as it believes that every Korean citizen will benefit from being connected to the global world. In addition to this, Korea is one of the few countries worldwide that invests its funds into the nation’s start-ups. In 2012, government funds constituted over 25 percent of all venture capital money disbursed in Korea. One-third of all venture capital in Korea is spent on the entertainment industry.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

The Korean censorship laws had prohibited movie makers and other artists from showcasing many topics considered controversial. This had curbed their creative independence for a long time. In 1996, the Korean constitutional court banned this censorship and opened up a barrage of topics for artists to explore. This move provided immense opportunities and independence to the young and vibrant generation of Korea to express newer and bolder ideas through cinema and music. Many influential film makers rose during this period.

Carl Ivan Setias
3 months ago

Samsung is one of the most prominent Korean chaebols, and the implications of the 1997-98 crises gave birth to an enhanced push for internationalization by the company and its owners as they sought new growth outside Korea. Samsung and its rise since then have been a prominent example of how Korean firms have benefited from the global interest in what Korea is and what the country has to offer.