Big Hit Entertainment CEO turns billionaire after stock debut

Big Hit Entertainment CEO turns billionaire after stock debut”

Earlier this week, BTS faced a barrage of criticism in China after the band's lead member made remarks about the 1950-53 Korean War pitting the United States and South Korea against China and North Korea.

Analysts say the company has proved itself online savvy, using Youtube and social media for market infiltration since in-person performances were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Big Hit's business depends heavily on BTS, which drove more than 87 percent of the company's revenues in the first half of this year.

Big Hit's surging debut has been boosted by reports that the South Korean government may be considering allowing pop stars and other celebrities to defer their mandatory military service, meaning performers will no longer have to involuntarily put their careers on hold for two years. The company has already made this transition, and economic and investment analysts have shared how the change turned out.

While the law grants military service exemptions or deferrals to successful worldwide athletes and classical musicians for their contribution to South Korea's image overseas, but the measure has never been applied to pop singers and celebrities, according to the Yonhap news agency.

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BTS fans who apparently follow everything and anything about the band naturally took an interest in Big Hit's stock market debut.

BTS members were not present at the ceremony. BTS-related social media posts from major brands such as Hyundai, Samsung and Fila disappeared from Chinese e-commerce platforms amid the flap. In September, they became the first Korean act to debut on Billboard's Hot 100 chart with their English-language single "Dynamite".

South Korea is now debating exemptions for stars such as BTS, who have been at the forefront of the Korean Wave cultural phenomenon in recent years and are estimated to generate billions for the country's economy.

Investors scrambled to buy into the success story of Big Hit Entertainment amid speculation that the South Korean government could allow K-pop and other celebrities to defer their military service, citing their huge contribution to the country's economy and global reputation.

The pop meant Big Hit founder Bang Si-hyuk is now worth £2.2bn. Online game developer Krafton, and chat app operator Kakao's mobile banking unit KakaoBank have both begun preliminary processes for listing.

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