China blocks access to popular S. Korean drama amid THAAD row

Angela Jung, Feb. 27, 2017, 11:10 a.m.


A popular South Korean fantasy-romance drama, "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God," has disappeared from China's social media platform Weibo, industry sources said Monday, as it appears to have fallen prey to China's retaliation against Seoul's move to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system.

The drama's suspension came at a time when China has blocked access to newly updated clips of South Korean music and dramas on the country's online video sharing platforms. It followed China's decision to prevent South Korean pop stars from appearing on Chinese entertainment programs since October, as South Korea decided in July last year to station a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on its soil.

According to the sources, the entire 16-part drama used to be available on Weibo, but it was found to be deleted with only promotional videos related to it left.

"We cannot view any of the drama installments through Weibo any longer. Only promotional videos of one to two minutes are available," a source said.

The drama, which involves the story of the immortal goblin Kim Shin played by Gong Yoo and his human bride, had made huge waves on Chinese social media.

Viewers on China's online video sharing platforms including Youku now only have access to installments of popular South Korean variety show "Running Man" and other TV programs aired until last year.

China has strongly opposed Seoul and Washington's decision to deploy a THAAD battery in South Korea to counter North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. Beijing said the move will hamper its security interests.

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