Since business reporting is kind of my wheelhouse, I noticed a story on Netizenbuzz about YG Entertainment’s stock price, which hit an all! time! low!
If you want an accurate answer to that question, it shouldn’t shock you that a single-line summary of an article, followed by a bunch of amazingly ignorant netizen comments, is perhaps not the best place to look.
There’s one thing that netizens and the original article do agree on: YG depends a lot on BigBang, and they’re starting to go into the military, so there’s certainly a challenge there.
But…several factors mentioned in that article never show up in the comments, which seem to be a lot more focused on how TWICE IZ GONNA KICK BLACK PINK’S AZZZ!!!!!!
For example: The entire Korean stock market is doing rather poorly right now, thanks to slowing economic growth, plus some large problems at some large companies.
YG’s stock price is doing worse than the market overall, though, and according to the original article, one big reason reason is China. Yup, China is still upset about U.S. military policy, so this time they’re taking it out on Chinese tourists who want to visit Korea, since those people influence the U.S. Department of Defense every bit as much as K-Pop idols do.
And YG bet big on China–hence The Collaboration–but that’s very obviously not going to pay off any time soon.
Take the uncertain economic and political environment, throw in BigBang potentially going on ice, and add a penalty for tax evasion, and the result is a lot of spooked investors. At least according to the original article.
Or, you could rely on the netizen analysis:
1. [+878, -51] The answer’s obvious when you look at the way Yang Hyun Suk’s been running the company. AkMu and Lee Hi are so talented, why haven’t they released anything in over two years?? Why is Winner left on the backburner, iKON too? And why does Black Pink get a new album just two months after their debut?…
Yeah. Call me crazy, but I doubt that actual investors are avoiding YG stock because they are butthurt over AkMu. I’m also betting that they aren’t too torn up that Black Pink is getting a new album just two months after their debut (OMFG, the injustice).
There’s also funny comments comparing YG unfavorably to labels the commenter clearly likes better–labels that, I guess, will magically be unaffected by the larger economic and political problems that so trouble YG these days.
But I think my favorite comment is this one, which blames YG’s problems on nationalism in…China? No, don’t be silly–Japan.
4. [+44, -13] I guess the glory days of making money off of druggies and car accident criminals are over. With Korean-Japanese relations worsening, their new rookies won’t have that Hallyu buff to rely on while Big Bang is headed off to the army one by one….
You know the person who wrote that comment not only didn’t read the article itself, but probably also hasn’t read any articles about Korea’s relations with its Asian neighbors in the past year.
I mean, of course there have been issues between Korea and Japan, and I’m not going to pretend that any country is devoid of ultra-nationalist assholes. But the political traditions in Japan and China are very different, and the Japanese government is considerably less likely to stomp all over citizens who want to buy a certain kind of music or take a vacation in a certain place.
So, while a very popular show in China was recently canceled because it featured Korean musicians, it’s totally possible for Korean musicians to do just dandy in Japan. If you look at the first six months of 2016 on Oricon, BigBang sold 194,992 physical copies of Made, putting it at #10 on that chart–a chart, I remind you, that only counts sales made at certain Japanese retailers in Japan itself.
And it’s not like BigBang is the only Korean group on that chart, either. Block B is represented in Japan by one of the country’s largest Japanese-owned record labels, and nobody would waste their time on that arrangement if the Japanese public was unwilling to support a Korean music group.
Plus, seriously: How fucked up is it to hope and pray that a neighboring country will become hostile to your own country in order to cause problems for a K-Pop label you don’t like? Scary, scary netizens….