South Korea could lose billions as K-pop band BTS embark on mandatory military service
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South Korea is expected to lose billions as a result of BTS going on their mandatory military service.
The K-pop band's record label, BIGHIT MUSIC, confirmed this week that the stars would be conscripted and the group will have to go on hiatus until at least 2025.
However, their absence could make a huge dent in South Korea's economy.
Research conducted back in 2018 showed just how much money BTS brings in every year and it is truly jaw-dropping.
Hyundai Research Institute says the K-pop group contributed to the national economy around the same level as 26 midsized companies.
They bring in roughly $3.6 billion to South Korea each year and were responsible for one in every tourist coming to the country back in 2017.
They also generate hundreds of millions of dollars worth of consumer goods exports, aka merchandise and cosmetics, according to Forbes.
Their departure from their musical commitments to make way for their national conscription has also hit their management company hard.
The stock value of HYBE was cut by a quarter (let that sink in for a moment) earlier this year when BTS announced they likely be embarking on their mandatory military service.
Forbes says HYBE shares also dropped by 2.5 per cent on Monday (October 17) when news of their conscription was confirmed.
BIGHIT said it was ‘proud’ that BTS would be ‘moving forward with plans to fulfil their military service’ and that members are ‘honoured to serve’.
“BIGHIT MUSIC is proud to announce today that the members of BTS are currently moving forward with plans to fulfil their military service," the statement said.
"After the phenomenal concert to support Busan's bid for the World Expo 2030, and as each individual embarks on solo endeavours, it's the perfect time and the members of BTS are honoured to serve.”
It went on: “Since the creation of BTS over ten years ago, the band has risen to international success, broken records, and catapulted K-Pop into the global stratosphere.
“BIGHIT MUSIC has focused to the milestone moment when it would be possible to respect the needs of the country and for these healthy young men to serve with their countrymen, and that's now.
“Group member Jin will initiate the process as soon as his schedule for his solo release is concluded at the end of October. He will then follow the enlistment procedure of the Korean government."
The statement added: “Both the company and the members of BTS are looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025 following their service commitment."