Korean Firms Cries Foul Over Chinese Counterparts For Non-Payment

Korea cries foul over China’s non payment and stealing intellectual property.

The “Korean wave” popularity that frenzied many Far Asian countries should be a cause for the South Koreans to rejoice over their success in the pop culture scene in Asia,however, this so-called Korean wave may be the cause of dispute between South Korea and China.

With the popularity of Korean music,groups and dramas among Chinese people prompted a deal between Chinese agency and a South Korean firm.

“Nobody”, a dance song by the Korean girl group Wonder Girls, is popular among Chinese and has been constantly deafening Chinese ears as it is constantly heard Chinese state-run CCTV since 2009.

A Korean company, JYP,who holds the original rights to digitally distributing the song, began to supply “Nobody” ringtones to Chinese mobile through a Korean broker and a Chinese ringtone supplier in late 2009.

The ringtone’s popularity was colossal among Chinese mobile users with an average of 1.2 million downloads a week in January last year or once every 0.5 seconds. However, the big plight to the Korean company was, the Chinese side was not able to remit any amount from the download sales, except for 200,000 yuan (about 34 million won) from the time both companies agreed to sign contract, according to the Korean company.

“The mobile phone service provider would pay 0.2 yuan (about 34 won) to the digital sound distributor per download”, said a representative from the Korean CD industry.

“The Chinese ringtone supplier has never paid profits to the Korean firm although the song was very popular till the end of June last year and a tremendous number of downloads were recorded”.

According to the Korean firm,both companies agreed to divide profits once every quarter.

“It’ll take a long time to get an outcome even though we file a suit against them. Furthermore, it is customary for Chinese courts to favor their corporations”, he said.

Further,another Korean company cries similar predicament as the Korean firm,which has the copyright to to remake the Korean drama “Autumn in my Heart” ,has had their share of non-compliance from their Chinese counterpart.

According to Hancinema.net,the Korean firm pushed ahead with a project to supply the remake of the romantic drama to Hunam Satellite TV in late 2009.

The drama aired on Hunan Satellite TV in 30 episodes at the “golden hour” from last month, recording top viewer ratings. The Chinese side took nearly all of the profits, according to the Korean firm.

“The government should take measures through negotiations with China to protect the intellectual property rights of Korean corporations”, said an official of a Korean firm producing content in China.


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