Yep, they are very envious of Korea's success in cultural exports... for starters.
China is targeting Korean cultural exports in an attempt to undermine Seoul’s soft power on the mainland. With the entertainment and cultural trade deficit between the two firmly in Seoul’s favour, China is turning the popularity of Korean products into a weapon against South Korea. Specifically, Beijing is using the pervasive nature of South Korean products and entertainment to raise awareness of the THAAD issue, as well as mobilize ordinary citizens to take a stand.
While the government would have limited success spreading awareness of complicated foreign relations issues through traditional means, Beijing can piggyback on the popularity of Korean products. By tying a simplified version of the story (Korea is insulting us, boycott them) to the ubiquitous host of Korean shows, music, films and other products, the government can engage with (especially) China’s youth – the very people most in tune with Korean soft power and fashions, and the very people the government needs in order to maintain its legitimacy. Korean soft-power is a major player in China: the romantic drama Uncontrollably Fond alone has 4.1 billion views on China’s Youtube, Youku.
No permits for Korean performers since last year... fear competition much? How long till they do the same to Taiwanese performers?
Problem is that with China's recent history, such battle cries send chills down everyon'es spines.
"This behavior is typical of the time before the Cultural Revolution," commented Wang Dan, one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, who posted the video onto Facebook.
And of course, tourism is the weapon of choice: