Mnet Awards Go On Despite Tensions

Though China has officially denied such reports, Korean entertainment content in China has mostly dried up in recent weeks, allegedly due to China’s objections to a joint South Korea-USA missile system being installed in South Korea. 

Photo: AP Photo / Kin Cheung
A Kim Jong Un lookalike makes an appearance before the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong Dec. 2. The K-pop-heavy awards went on despite diplomatic strife between china and South Korea.

Korean actors have vanished from Chinese dramas and K-pop concerts have been cancelled or otherwise curtailed.

However, the MNET Music Awards, which honor achievements in K-pop, went ahead as planned in Hong Kong Dec. 2. It was the fifth time the awards ceremony took place in Hong Kong and the seventh time outside of Korea.

Sponsored by CJ E&M, one of South Korea’s biggest entertainment companies, this year’s edition was already mired in controversy even before the Chinese sanctions.

YG, CJ E&M’s main rival, announced some weeks ago that none of the talent it represents would be attending or participating in the awards ceremony, despite that fact that many had huge hits this year. Ostensibly, the reason is that these artists are too busy with performance obligations, but it’s also believed that YG thinks some of its artists were not “invited properly,” according to the International Business Times.

Some K-pop fans are also disappointed that the awards have yet to return to Korean soil. In the end, all these factors seemed to have conspired against the event. TV ratings in Korea for the show were half what they were last year, and, of course, it was not broadcast in China, even though it technically took place there.