By Yun Suh-young
Exports of Korean cultural content are expected to continue to grow despite China’s restrictions on its products and services in retaliation to the deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery here.
The Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) said in a 2017 Content Industry Forecast report that export figures are expected to grow on average by 8.5 percent more than last year. The export amount will reach $6.85 billion, it said. The annual sales figure was predicted to increase 5.9 percent from last year.
The expected growth rate of Korean content exported overseas will be highest for both characters and the knowledge information sectors with a 16.4 percent increase from last year; a 10.4 percent increase for the film industry; 8.9 percent for broadcasting; 8.5 percent for animation; 7.6 percent for cartoons; 6.4 percent for games; 5.8 percent for publications; and 5.5 percent for music.
The export figures for Korean content have retained an annual 8 percent over the past five years.
Concerns rose since the Korean government’s decision to deploy the THAAD system in the country as China had fiercely opposed the move and retaliated with economic and cultural restrictions on Korean products and services. Korean movies, TV dramas and the entertainment sector has been strongly hit by the move as has the tourism industry.
KOCCA forecast, however, that the restrictions on Korean content by China will not be as serious a blow to the overall export of content although it may have an impact on exports there. The amount of exports to China took up 27 percent of Korea’s total overseas shipments as of 2015, which is similar to the 26 percent taken up by Japan. Whereas characters are exported mostly to North America and Europe, knowledge information is exported to Japan and Southeast Asian countries, which is why China’s influence is not as heavy, according to KOCCA.
The agency predicted that China will not be able to completely ban Korean content due to increases in demand by Chinese consumers and it will be important for Korea to continuously create quality content to prepare for after the market stabilizes.