In what would perhaps be the most petty reprisal yet for the THAAD missile defense system installation, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reportedly tried to minimize how much screen time one South Korean golfer got during their live broadcast of the SGF 67 World Ladies Championship in Hainan on Sunday.
According to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper, CCTV did all that it could to avoid showing Kim Hae-rym, even as she went on to win the championship in an one-on-one playoff.
Kim’s nationality likely wasn’t so much the problem as was her hat. The golfer is sponsored by none other than the Lotte Group, which has become the target of extreme Chinese nationalism ever since it agreed to hand over land to Seoul to build the US-backed THAAD defense system.
Spurred on by state media editorials, patriotic dancing aunties have protested in front of Lotte stores, and primary school kids are being indoctrinated against their foodstuffs. This month 80% of Lotte’s supermarkets have been forced to shut down in China, resulting in heavy losses for the company.
So, when Kim finally sank a birdie putt to win the championship, CCTV only showed her from a distance, and then cut away quickly before the trophy presentation could take place.
The championship at the Mission Hills Haikou Blackstone Course was transmitted by CCTV and broadcast in South Korea by the national Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS). A SBS golf spokesman said that as far as they knew CCTV had not cut the broadcast short because of Lotte, but simply because the event had ran long by going into a playoff.
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