Department of Journalism
Localization as negotiation: Producing a Korean format in contemporary China
This article analyses the localization, as Hurry Up, Brother, of the Korean celebrity reality game show format Running Man by the Chinese broadcaster Zhejiang Satellite TV. Based upon field work involving participant observation and interviews with Chinese and Korean production personnel, the article explores the complex forces involved in realizing the final, highly successful, project. It is argued that localization involves the interplay of complex forces, the outcome of which is a process of negotiation. In particular, the article analyses in detail two major players in this production, Korean format consultants and the Chinese production team. It details the distinctively Korean practice of licensing a format without recourse to a formal specification of production details, and Chinese television professionals’ response to these practices. It is shown that the more informal methods employed result in a transfer of decision-making power from the Korean company to the Chinese company in the course of the production. As a television format show produced in China, the production of Hurry Up, Brother necessarily involved interaction with political forces as well as cultural differences between China and Korea. The article concludes with considering the implications of the findings for our concepts of globalization, localization and hybridization.
China-Korea, cultural difference, decision-making, ideological control, localization, negotiation, television format
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Digital Television
Link to Publisher's Edition
Zeng, W., & Sparks, C. (2017). Localization as negotiation: Producing a Korean format in contemporary China. International Journal of Digital Television, 8 (1), 81-98. https://doi.org/10.1386/jdtv.8.1.81_1