Hallyu may lose popularity base in 5 years
By Baek Byung-yeul
Korea in the past years has invested Herculean efforts to extend the international boom for its cultural exports, dubbed "hallyu" (the Korean wave). However, there are increasing arguments that the government should relax its aggressive marketing as foreigners seem to be showing signs of recoiling from the smell of nationalism.
A survey of more than 3,600 people from Asian countries, Europe, the United States and Russia by the Korea Foundation for International Cultural Exchange (KOFICE) showed 66 percent of the respondents predicting hallyu will become irrelevant as a commercial force in their countries within the next four years. More than 15 percent of them believed hallyu has reached that point already.
KOFICE, which conducted the poll in November last year and recently unveiled the results, observed that the popularity of Korean cultural products in Japan and China, which have been the centers of the hallyu boom, is dwindling rapidly.
However, there are debates on whether these excessive promotions are working as prescribed.
"Look at the case of Psy. He is popular because global fans found something to enjoy in his music, not because the government made a decent argument that everybody should like him. The consumption of cultural products is voluntary," Han said.