Many Korea-related artists will be making flights to China for annual year-end countdown events at the end of this month.
Every year in the Chinese entertainment industry, major TV networks hold large-scale year-end concerts on December 31 to compete for the highest TV ratings. Television viewership during New Year’s Eve are of a younger demographic, so this year, Chinese TV networks have made an extra effort to recruit notable young celebrities to boost their ratings.
As such, many of Korea’s past and present celebrities will be guests at these four TV networks, including some of SM Entertainment’s top artists.
After a shaky year where they have lost two of their Chinese members, EXO have announced that they will be making a comeback in January. As a new group of 10 members, they will be attend Hunan TV’s year-end concert.
At the same time, former EXO members Lu Han and Wu Yifan will be attending the Dragon TV and Zhejiang TV concerts respectively. In what will be an interesting night for K-Pop fans, former SM Entertainment artist Han Geng will also be attending Dragon TV’s event, uniting two former SM artists at the same event. Lu Han and Han Geng may meet each other for the first time on December 31.
Dragon TV also hired on Korean actors Lee Minho and Kim Soohyun to appear at their year-end concert, giving their event a more Hallyu flavour than the others.
Meanwhile, Han Geng’s old team members, the idol group Super Junior will be attending Jiangsu TV’s year-end concert.
If it seems like there are fewer year-end concerts to pay attention to than previous years, this is because the Chinese state government recently made decisions to allow only three major networks to broadcast these events as part of their December 31 live programming. These three networks are Hunan TV, Zhejiang TV, and Dragon TV. Due to this decision, Jiangsu TV’s usual annual year-end event will have a broadcast delay, and will be promoted as a “2015 New Year’s concert” instead.
It is also worth noting that although there will be four different year-end concerts, two of them will be held in the same city. Hunan TV and Zhejiang TV will both hold their events in Guangdong, China. It’s unlikely that EXO and Wu Yifan would happen on each other while they are both in Guangdong, but if willing, fans can easily take a 40 minute drive from one Guangdong stadium to another to see both artists in one night.
With all these big name celebrities appearing on four major year-end concerts, the competition is fierce for the biggest viewership ratings. According to industry insiders, Sina has reported that some celebrity guests even request double the appearance fee for the night. Actor Kim Soohyun, who reportedly has earned more than US$82 million through endorsements in China this past year, could well be one of those big names.
As a helpful guide for fans looking to decide which year-end event to watch live, please read our latest article on China’s New Year’s Eve concerts.