G-Dragon became the first South Korean celebrity to sign a corporate endorsement deal with a Chinese company following Beijing's virtual ban on "hallyu," or South Korean pop culture, since 2016, the singer's agency said Monday.
The singer-rapper of K-pop act BIGBANG recently signed a deal with Chinese bottled water giant Nongfu Spring Co. and will be featured in promotional material for the company's new tea drink brand, Chapai, YG Entertainment said.
Online and social media marketing has started while billboard advertisements featuring G-Dragon are also on display across China, YG added.
G-Dragon, whose real name is Kwon Ji-yong, debuted in 2006 as leader of the K-pop act and has enjoyed enormous global success, especially in Asia, both as part of the group and through solo projects. Following a two-year hiatus spent fulfilling his mandatory military service, G-Dragon quietly resumed his show business career in late 2019.
According to YG, G-Dragon became the first South Korean celebrity to secure a corporate endorsement deal in China following a fallout of bilateral cultural exchanges amid Beijing's protest over the deployment of a US missile defense system, commonly referred to as THAAD, in mid 2016.
Beijing has taken what appear to be retaliatory steps against Korean companies and products in various areas, including a blanket ban on Korean cultural exports.
"BIGBANG enjoyed explosive success in China even before the group entered a hiatus mode from members' military services," YG said in a statement. "We have confirmed the level of popularity and influence of BIGBANG in China through G-Dragon's (endorsement deal)," the company added. (Yonhap)