Descendants of the Sun star Song Joong Ki will no longer be featured in the advertisements of Vivo. This has fueled speculations that the Chinese mobile company has fired the Hallyu heartthrob. ?
The tech giant got the 30-year-old actor as their brand ambassador last May. The endorsement was confirmed right after his KBS TV series ended with record-breaking ratings last April.
The success of Descendants of the Sun made Song Joong Ki secure 22 million CN? for his contract with Vivo Mobile. The amount costs around $3.3 million in US dollars. Many believe that he was able to get this amount because the wartime-themed drama became such a hit worldwide.
However, the electronics company has reportedly decided to no longer use all ad materials featuring the Korean superstar. The development was reported earlier this week and came as a surprise to Song Joong Ki?s fans.
Song Joong Ki?s Vivo contract will still allow him to get the full amount of his endorsement fee. While this means that he was not exactly fired, all his advertising materials will now just go to waste. Allkpop explained that the Chinese company is willing to shoulder the financial and marketing losses because of the campaign cancellation.
— allkpop (@allkpop) August 9, 2016
Vivo Mobile?s decision is reportedly related to the Chinese government?s recent ban on South Korean entertainment. China is allegedly upset with its neighboring country?s support for America?s deployment of a US-developed missile shield.
Chinese authorities have reportedly already ordered TV stations in Guangdong province to disapprove new program applications featuring South Korean talents. Furthermore, even upcoming shows that were already initially accommodated will be cancelled.
K-drama fans are also worried that the ongoing issue will result to the cancellation of two upcoming major projects. One is the second season of Descendants of the Sun. ?KBS Network said that they are pushing for the show?s return in 2017.
However, it is unsure if they can still produce the sequel if China will just ban the show. This is because of how Chinese fans represent a majority of viewers who ramped up the ratings of season one. ?
China?s ban is also likely to affect the highly anticipated Descendants of the Sun movie. Chinese producers have reportedly secured rights to the full film feature. Even veteran Chinese filmmaker director Zhang Yibai has reportedly been signed up to direct the movie. However, the recent developments could eventually lead to the project?s cancellation. ?
What can you say about what Vivo did to Descendants of the Sun star Song Joong Ki? Do you think that this hints at the eventual cancellation of the show?s sequel and big screen adaptation? Let us know by commenting below.