Don’t you hate it when you’re reading a news article and you just know facts got lost in translation?
It was announced earlier this week that T-ARA has signed a multimillion dollar contract with a Chinese entertainment agency called Longzhen Culture Development (廣州龍楨文化發展有限公司) to officially begin promotions in China. The contract is reportedly worth 5 billion dollar Korean won, and is expected to bring over 16.5 billion Korean won in annual profit. Promotions are to begin with a press conference at the New World Beijing Hotel on Monday, October 13th, 2014.
The important things to note are that the contract worth is 5 billion Korean won, which equates to approximately USD$4.7 million at recent currency exchange rates, and that the press conference in Beijing is held not at a hotel called “Shinsegae” (although I’m assuming that is the Korean pronunciation of “New World”), but called New World Beijing Hotel.
These two pieces of information have been inaccurately translated by various English-speaking K-Pop news sites. This happens a lot with Korean pop culture news sites, where mistakes are made when it comes to translating information from Korean media outlets into English. At Tofupost, we hope to correct these mistakes and provide accurate information about Korean artists working in China.
The other thing that stood out in these articles was the fact that it was stated in many articles that Longzhen has been the concert organizer for many top Chinese artists including: G.E.M Tang, Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau, A-mei, etc. These are all valid facts, but what makes this statement odd from what has been a general PR announcement on the contract agreement, is that it suggests Longzhen’s experience in artist management is about non-existent. Organizing concert tours is completely different from managing artists. It also makes you wonder: Who initiated the contract agreement? Was it Longzhen, or was it T-ARA’s Korean management company, Core Contents Media? Whichever company it was, it is banking a lot on Longzhen’s influence in the Chinese music industry. Organizing concerts is one thing, and it could be similar to hosting promotional events (e.g. fan signing events, fanmeets etc.), but do they have contacts in the TV industry? To get commercial endorsements within the Chinese market? Time will tell.
Curiously enough, it was announced days later that the CEO of Core Contents Media (CCM), Kim Kwangsoo, has resigned from the company, and all artists under that label, including T-ARA will be transferring from CCM to their subsidiary MBK Entertainment. Transferring artists from one company to another is not an easy task, and it might take weeks for both sides to fully understand each other as management/product. Kim Kwangsoo’s resignation gives me the impression that he intended to resign long ago, but had wanted to make sure the deal with Longzhen was successfully dealt with before he submitted a letter of resignation. It also seems like he is hoping for Longzhen to temporarily manage T-ARA in China while things settle between the two Korean companies.
As it is, T-ARA sits on pretty shaky ground. In one country, they are suddenly working between entertainment agencies, while in another country, they have just signed with an entertainment agency that have had no prior history in managing or promoting artists in China aside from organizing their concert tours.
For T-ARA fans, QUEEN’s, it’s an interesting situation definitely worth contemplating.
- Longzhen Cultural Development — Longzhen’s official Weibo
- Longzhen Cultural Development — Longzhen’s official Sina blog
- Baike — Baike article for Longzhen Cultural Development
- Koreaboo — T-ARA set to promote in China; signs multi-billion won contract
- Officially Kmusic — T-ARA signs contract with Chinese agency
- Mwave — T-ARA signs multibillion won contract with Chinese agency
- Allkpop — T-ARA sign with Chinese entertainment company Longzhen Culture Development
- Tiara Diadem — T-ARA sign $5 million USD contract to begin entry into Chinese market
- Tiara Diadem — T-ARA to move to MBK Entertainment after CEO Kim Kwangsoo steps down from Core Contents Media
- Soompi — T-ARA signs with Chinese management to advance into China
- Soompi — T-ARA signs with major Chinese entertainment company