BUSINESS

Kakao to introduce webtoon-inspired dramas, films in China

By Kim Young-won

Mobile messenger operator to work with Chinese media firm for remakes

  • Published : Mar 14, 2016 - 16:22
  • Updated : Mar 14, 2016 - 16:22
Korea’s largest mobile messenger operator Kakao said Monday that five of its webtoons will be remade into movies, TV and web dramas.

Webtoons are comics that are published on mobile and online platforms. 

(Clockwise, from left top) “Girl in the Mirror,” “Just One Shot,” “My Boss Dies Once a Day,” “Help! Breakup Ghost,” and “Cashero.” Kakao

The Korean mobile messenger firm has already signed contracts with Huace Group, a Chinese film and TV media group, to remake four webtoons and the two partners are fine-tuning the contract for a fifth webtoon, according to Kakao.

In Korea, the five webtoons -- “Girl in the Mirror,” “Help! Breakup Ghost,” “Just One Shot,” “Cashero,” and “My Boss Dies Once a Day” – are popular among teenagers and those in their 20s and 30s.

Kakao anticipates that these hit Korean webtoons, which have engaging, unique storylines, will be able to attract Chinese fans.

Films inspired by Kakao’s Webtoons, including “Moss,” and “Secretly, Greatly,” attracted millions of viewers. In recent years, “Misaeng,” a TV drama adaptation of the web comic of the same title, has also helped push webtoons as a fad in the Korean market.

“It is a great pleasure to help our authors reach out to their current and potential fans in China through the screens,” Iggy Park, head of Kakao’s Daum Webtoon team said in a statement.

Huace Group, which produces more than 1,000 TV dramas every year in China, launched a movie production arm Huace Film in 2014. The Chinese firm also pinned high hopes on the latest collaboration.

“Leveraging the best of our capabilities and infrastructure, we are confident that we can bring out the utmost value from each of the five (webtoon) titles,” said Jon Chiew, head of Huace Film, adding “As a leader in the field of cultural exchange, we will continue to discover and introduce more valuable content to Chinese viewers.”

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)


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