China's economic boom is creating new expensive tastes—but not in food.
In just four years, Chinese investors have flooded South Korea's service sector by 940 percent, from $100 million in 2010 to $940 million in 2014, based on records from Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy. This is largely attributed to China's increasing commitment to Korean media and entertainment, according to Keehyun Lee, head of the policy research division at state-run Korea Creative Content Agency.
More specifically, investors from Asia's economic dragon are using their financial clout in South Korea's entertainment industry so that movies and TV shows increasingly cater to Chinese tastes. Although the Chinese seem to be muscling into South Korean media, the cross-border collaboration is proving there are mutual advantages for both countries.
"The inflow of Chinese investments into the Korean entertainment industry [has] synergistic effects," Lee said. "There are now opportunities for both Chinese and Korean entertainment industries to grow together by co-planning, co-investing, co-distributing, and co-developing marketing strategies."
The most popular form of investment has been to acquire major company stakes. Alibaba announced last August it would invest 100 billion won in Korean films. Separately, Chinese media and contents company Huace pledged $50 million in October to become the second largest stakeholder of Korean movie studio NEW.
Elsewhere, China's Juna International just bought 3.4 million shares of Chorokbaem Media, Korea's largest drama production company.