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Korean Entertainment Feels the Pain of Coronavirus

Fear of the spread of coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on the South Korean entertainment industry, where many scheduled concerts and events have been canceled. The K-pop sector has been especially hurt.

Leading music talent management agency, JYP Entertainment postponed boy band GOT7’s concert at Thailand’s Rajamangala Stadium that had been scheduled for Feb. 14 and 15. Tickets for both shows were sold out and made the band the first K-pop act to fill the 50,000-seat venue for two days. The company then announced on Monday that the shows will now take place in early May.

Another major K-pop company YG Entertainment also cancelled concerts of WINNER and Sechs Kies, which were scheduled for mid-February and early March, respectively.

“Amidst the worldwide effort to prevent coronavirus from further spreading, YG is also closely monitoring the issue, with our artists and fans’ safety as the primary concern,” said the company in a statement.

Fast-rising girl band (G) I-DLE’s agency Cube Entertainment announced Thursday that the Bangkok stop of its world tour had been pushed from April to an undecided later date.

Major TV broadcasters KBS, MBC and SBS, which usually invite K-pop fans as live audiences when filming their weekly K-pop programs “Music Bank,” “Show! Music Core,” and “Popular Songs,” have closed their doors since January and simply recorded the performances.

The film industry is also hurting. Box office in January was the lowest for years, and February has seen like for like declines in ticket sales of 30-40%, as people fear going out in public places and sitting close to each other in cinemas.

Currently South Korea has recorded 28 cases of coronavirus and no fatalities. Seven of them have recovered and been released from quarantine.

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