Song Joongki may have many endorsement deals under his belt following his catapult to massive fame after Descendants of the Sun, but it seems that he just lost a deal for a mobile phone commercial worth 2 million Chinese yuan reminbi ($4.1 million).
If you’re thinking that he got fired because of he’s attitude, you can’t be more wrong. The actor had previously signed a contract to endorse a mobile phone in May. However, it seems the company has reportedly decided to drop him and changed the spokesperson to Eddie Peng.
Many believed that it’s because of China’s new rule, which restricts Korean celebrities from performing or promoting in China. The ban also involves the censorship of Korean celebrities in shows, as well as the prohibition of a number of Korean TV programmes from being shown in China.
Tencent Entertainment reported that a “notable Weibo account” claimed that the employees at Jiangsu TV recently received a notice that stated they were not allowed to air commercials featuring Korean celebrities, and other stations such as CCTV reportedly received the same instructions.
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But the good news for Joongki is, he gets to keep the money. International Business Times reported that Joongki will still be paid the amount agreed in the contract despite the termination.
The same mobile phone company had previously received backlash after placing ads with his face on the floors of trains – which effectively meant people were stepping all over his face.
It’s unclear how far China will go with the ban, but K-pop artists have had limited appearances in China since the announcement of the new rule. K-pop boy band EXO, who had nine concerts in mainland China for their previous tour, has only confirmed two shows in the country this time round.
The new rule also stipulates that K-pop performances in mainland China cannot have an audience of more than 10,000.
Image: KBS World’s YouTube