The cautionary post from a ministry in China underscores the growing influence of Korean pop culture in China and the enormous economic opportunities that have emerged from Hallyu in the past decade.
Amid a global slowdown, South Korea is banking on its tourism and service industry to prop up its economy. And a state-backed entertainment push has gained traction in Asia, with China proving to be a lucrative market.
To cater to Chinese viewers, the entire series of "Descendants of the Sun" was pre-recorded so that it could be cleared in advance by Chinese censors, allowing it to be broadcast simultaneously in both countries. This was in contrast with the "live-shoot" system that Korean dramas typically follow, with episodes being filmed as previously recorded episodes are aired, so that script adjustments can be made according to ratings.
The gamble has paid off, with "Descendants of the Sun" passing 400 million views on the Chinese online video platform, iQiyi. Ratings in South Korea have hit 30 percent, which means three in ten people viewing television during the timeslot were watching the TV drama.
The drama, a romance set against military operations in a fictional country, has also spurred interest in cosmetics, smartphones and fashion products featured in the show.