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Management Report

Management reports, briefs issued by Samsung Economic Research Institute

How to Commercialize "Korean Wave"

How to Commercialize "Korean Wave"

KO Jeong-Min

June 7, 2005

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From Japan to China and Southeast Asia, Korean popular culture has caught Asia by storm. Dubbed the "Korean Wave" by the media, it encompasses pop music and TV soap operas, films and a broad swath of youth culture and lifestyle.

Propagation of this pop culture not only promotes better understanding of Korea in the world; it also opens up commercial opportunities for Korean products and entertainment business overseas. With the Korean wave triggering enthusiasm for Korean popular culture, it has prompted sales in cultural derivative items such as dramas and films overseas; it has led to bigger tourist arrivals from Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Across the region, it brings wider acceptance for Korean-made goods including electronics, and a better understanding and appreciation for Korean culture and lifestyle.

As the Korean Wave trend moves wider, Korean popular culture is gaining acceptance in faraway countries like Mexico, Egypt and Russia, where people identify Korean products increasingly with the culture that comes with them. Now the task facing the Korean business community is how to commercialize this cultural boom while promoting a better understanding of Korea itself.

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