As China's economic growth declines, some analysts say Beijing may have to spend more on infrastructure, adding to concerns about high debts.China Economyread more
U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Washington and Beijing have a long way to go on trade, adding that America could place tariffs on an additional $325 billion...Asia Marketsread more
"The charts, as interpreted by Carley Garner, suggest that the upside in the stock market has gotten more limited," Jim Cramer says.Mad Money with Jim Cramerread more
John Paul Stevens, who served on the Supreme Court for nearly 35 years and became its leading liberal, has died.Politicsread more
The largest U.S. banks are scrutinizing members of the Federal Reserve for any insight into how the central bank will tinker interest rates.Banksread more
The U.S. and China restarted their trade talks, but signs are showing a comprehensive deal could be a long way off, if it happens at all.Marketsread more
The WTO ruling recognized that the United States had proved that China used state-owned enterprises to subsidize and distort its economy. But the U.S. must accept Chinese...World Economyread more
Facebook's cryptocurrency project has already been met with skepticism from policymakers around the world.Technologyread more
Stone, 66, a notorious Republican political operative who has described himself as a "dirty trickster," had previously been dressed down by the judge for his public remarks...Politicsread more
Delta is gathering more data from customers than ever in hopes of avoiding customer service problems and increasing customer satisfaction, its CFO says.At Workread more
The Biden team's second-quarter Federal Election Commission filing shows that the campaign wrote a check of just over $5,300 on June 28 to Sheehan Associates for "strategic...2020 Electionsread more
As the Korean wave, or Hallyu, continues to sweep across the world, lucrative foreign investments from France to China could spark the next rush for the country's pop culture, analysts say.
Luxury goods maker LVMH is the latest company to bet on South Korea's "cool " – its private equity arm unveiled plans last week to invest up to $80 million in YG Entertainment, who manages K-Pop stars including superstar rapper Psy.
The investment is the largest by a global fund and will help accelerate YG's move into fashion. The firm, one of Korea's top talent agencies, aims to launch a clothing label with Samsung Group and to enter the cosmetic business with China's Huanya Group.
YG shares have surged 25 percent since LVMH's interest first emerged earlier this month, bringing the firm's market capitalization to $730 million and underscoring the power of Hallyu in corporate Korea.
"Right across the board, with consumer and cultural products [in South Korea] there is a huge outward wave of interest coming from the outside, which is turning into money," said Tony Michell, managing director at Korea Associates Business Consultancy.
"From an advertising point of view K-Pop stars in Southeast Asia have become hot property, and we think it gives a kind of PR effect to Korea, as behind that comes everything related to Korean fashion and that goes from cosmetics and other things positioned in the dramas or associated with Korea," he added.
Korea's "cool" factor reached fever pitch in 2012 when pop sensation Psy released the mega-hit 'Gangnam Style,' a catchy rap song with horse dance moves that became a worldwide hit. The video has garnered over 2 billion views to date online, making Psy the most famous K-Pop singer globally and raising the genre's profile.
Since then, there has been renewed interest in all other aspects of Korean culture, spanning music, TV shows, video games, fast food and consumer products.
Some experts are tipping the start of the next wave of Hallyu, this time driven by China. According to CLSA, China's Tencent's decision in March to invest half a billion dollars in CJ Games, a unit of Korean media firm CJ E&M, is a big deal for the firm and a ringing endorsement for K-culture.
The investment gives China's largest online-games and social-networking company a 28 percent stake in CJ Games, one the most successful game developers in Korea.
"Hallyu will continue to gain momentum and CJ E&M is at the forefront of this wave," Seungjoo Ro, an analyst at CLSA, said in a report this week. "Demand is high in China and will unlock much awaited earnings expansion for CJ's media and films."
Strong government support
CLSA says the Korean craze looks sustainable for now, thanks to the strong support from the government, which has invested billions in the K-Pop phenomenon, including launching a $1 billion investment fund to support the pop industry in 2005.
The country last year raked in $5 billion from its pop-culture exports, and the government aims to double this figure by 2017. Meanwhile, inbound tourist arrivals jumped 8.3 percent on year to a record 12.2 million visitors in 2013, statistics from the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) show.
"Currently, the government's budget for culture/media is around 5.3 trillion won ($5.2 billion), or about 1.4 percent of government spending. The goal is to increase this budget to 7.8 trillion won by 2017, or 2 percent of the government's budget," Ro said.
"This will make Korea the second highest cultural spender behind France," he added.