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China’s Tencent and Weiying Take $85 Million Stake in Korea’s YG Entertainment | Variety – China is the market for a lot of Korean TV. Gaining soft power through culture is part of the government’s aspirations – this deal makes both political and business sense. Korean production companies have found that their shows are often blocked by Chinese regulators. Instead the best way around this has been licensing the formats for a remake locally, which offers modest payments. Whether it is good for Korea in the longer term is another matter.
China has a number of problems on its hands before it can replicate Korea’s success. China has a warped production model that works on patronage and ever bigger budgets and returns. Great for doing a large scale fight scene, not so good for romantic dramas. China hasn’t managed to build up a bench of likeable stars with international appeal in the same way that Korean has managed in a consistent manner. The desire of the government propaganda department blunts the appeal of dramas. Weiying will struggle to give China the kind of soft power that Korea and Japan enjoy respectively abroad. More on Korea related topics here.
Discover Vietnam’s most chosen brands | Kantar Worldwide – well done Unilever. Unilever is especially interesting because of its success with both Vietnamese urban and rural consumers. However Nestle is a high-performing number 4. Unilever’s competition isn’t P&G, but local brands Musan and Vinamilk.
How Akira sent shockwaves through pop culture and changed it | Dazed Digital – still an amazing film. I remember seeing it at the 051 cinema in Liverpool, some time before 1994 and it blew me away. It wasn’t just an engaging story but a well thought out future. Architecture wasn’t just new and shiny like Star Trek, but there were new and old side-by-side like London or Hong Kong. It was the future cyberpunk Japan that author William Gibson mirrored in his own early books. The impact of Akira encouraged me to watch more anime, when then led to my love of Ghost In The Shell.
Tumblr is now blocked in China | Techinasia – surprised it hadn’t happened already given its meme and porn driven nature