Despite Hallyu ban, MAMA to go ahead in Hong Kong; Will China permit airing event live?

Entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M's biggest musical event Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) will take place in Hong Kong this Friday.

  • Updated
Members of the South Korean K-Pop band f(x) pose on the red carpet during 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in Hong Kong, China December 2, 2015. Reuters

Entertainment conglomerate CJ E&M's biggest musical event Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) will take place in Hong Kong this Friday. This is the eighth edition of the event and the fifth consecutive year it is taking place in Hong Kong. The event is hosted amid tightened regulations by the Chinese government on Hallyu (Korean wave).

The bilateral relationship between the countries took a toll after South Korea's decision to deploy a US missile defense system in the country.

After the decision, China has reportedly forbidden all Hallyu contents across the nation. It has banned Korean stars from appearing on Chinese televisions as well as those celebrities already featuring on Chinese ads are either replaced or edited out.

Despite all these issues, CJ E&M is determined to go ahead with the show but the big question is whether the Chinese government will permit to air the awards live on its territory.

Meanwhile, Mnet's head of music content business Shin Hyung-kwan addressed the press in Seoul and confirmed that the show will go as per schedule despite the hiccups faced. He further added that they have had faced many similar difficulties in the past, pointing at the Japanese TV industry regulation, and will be sorted out soon.

When quizzed about the event taking place in Hong Kong in spite of Korean fans' wrath, he said that HK meets all the requirements of having a diverse culture and location that represents the entire South East Asia.

Meanwhile, another entertainment giant YG has confirmed that their artists will not be participating in this year's MAMA due to their overseas schedules.

YG also claimed that their BLACKPINK, the most favorite for MAMA Rookie Award, has not been invited properly and now it is too late to join. But CJ E&M has thrashed the claims and clarified that all of YG artists were given prior invites for the events.

Interestingly, this year's MAMA is likely to have international musicians, like Quincy Jones, Timbaland and Wiz Khalifa gracing the occasion. In addition, a surprise collaboration between JYP singer Suji of MISS A and Baekhyun of EXO is likely to be the key highlight of the event.

This article was first published on November 29, 2016