“Q: ‘It has recently been reported that there is an escalated restriction that restricts Chinese television stations from broadcasting Korean celebrities and endorsements. Can you confirm? What is your comment?’
A: ‘First, I have not heard of this so-called ‘Korean ban.’ Second, I would like to make it clear that it is our wish for China-ROK cultural exchanges to remain positive. But I believe it’s understandable that the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries needs to be based on public opinion. Third, China is firmly opposed to the US deployment of THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, this position is already well known. Chinese people have also expressed dissatisfaction with it. I believe that both parties involved should take note of this mood.’”
He denies the existence of an official ban on Korean celebrities promoting in China, but puts it in the context of China having to abide by their people and notes that said people oppose THAAD. So basically, nothing about the situation is official, but it’s a bit of posturing and threatening of what could come unless they get their way with THAAD and other stuff.
The cynic in me would also note that it’s probably for the best interest of China if any kind of exclusionary crackdown remains off the record, because then it can be enforced selectively without scrutiny from companies, media, and public. Like artists signed to Chinese companies that profit China and Chinese people could be allowed to continue but those who don’t play the game could be unofficially blacklisted. Win-win for them.