SEOUL, Aug. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — A booth representing South Korean video game companies this year at one of China’s biggest gaming expos was told to drop ‘Korea’ from its name to conceal the nationality of the participants amid endless political tension between the two countries, an official from the South Korean organizing body has said.
As the 15th ChinaJoy trade show came to an end on Sunday, attracting over 340,000 people, reports of the rather unfair and humiliating treatment of the Korea Creative Content Agency, a government-backed organization that represented the South Korean gaming industry at the expo, have come to light, sending many South Koreans into a fury online.
According to a report by NSP News Agency yesterday, the governing body behind the Chinese game expo made a number of major demands that the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA) had no choice but to follow, including dropping ‘Korea’ from the name of one of the booths it was allotted as well as moving another booth to a corner, far from its original spot.
As a result, the KOCCA used the rather vague and unidentifiable acronym ‘KOCCA PAVILION’ to avoid further conflict with event officials.
The magnitude of the issue is made more clear when juxtaposed with Taiwan, which ran its booth under the name ‘Taiwan Delegation’ despite serious political discord with China.
As the annual gaming expo in question is organized by government branches such as the General Administration of Sport and the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of the People’s Republic of China, some assume the demand for the KOCCA to conceal its South Korean nationality might reflect the Chinese government’s hard-line stance against Korea.
Since the deployment of a THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, a significant number of South Korean companies in various fields, including Lotte Group, have become targets of China’s politically driven economic retaliation.
Last week, executives from South Korean conglomerates joined President Moon Jae-in at a special ‘beer garden’ meeting held at the Blue House to discuss the growing issue of Chinese economic retaliation against South Korean companies, urging the government to take action.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)