Song Joong Ki’s recent ad for Vivo, a smartphone company in China, has been pulled.
This past May, riding the wave of “Descendants of the Sun” — which was aired simultaneously in Korea and China — Song Joong Ki signed with Vivo to model the X7 smartphone. He had made headlines at the time for the 22.8 million yuan (approximately $3.4 million) he received as a model.
However, according to recent reports by Chinese media, Vivo announced that they would be withdrawing Song Joong Ki’s ads. China Daily reported that the withdrawal is the result of unavoidable circumstances, and that Song Joong Ki is still receiving his ad fee in full.
The drop has been attributed to economic retaliation by China for the decision made early July by the United States and Korea to deploy THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) in South Korea — in defense against missile threats from North Korea. China had adamantly opposed this decision, and talk of how this will will affect Hallyu exports to China abounds, in addition to news of various Korean celebrities’ Chinese activities being affected.
Recent reports stated that Song Joong Ki’s Chinese drama offers have also fallen through. However, the actor’s agency, Blossom Entertainment, stated that while it is true Song Joong Ki received various drama offers from China, nothing had been confirmed yet, and it is not true that what happened is due to retaliation for THAAD deployment.