October 25th, 2012
11:14 AM ET

Why China can't do Gangnam Style

"Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

The Gangnam Style phenomenon has been an astonishment to anyone involved in culture in Asia, The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos tells Fareed Zakaria in a GPS web extra.

“This is not a video that anyone expected to be a success. It didn’t come out of the main cultural industry in Korea. This thing came out of nowhere and it’s a phenomenon. The question is, why? And the answer actually tells you a lot about China today,” Osnos says.

“The reason it has been so successful is that it laughs at itself – it has a great sense of humor and it’s making fun of the enormous pop industry in Korea, which is big business, it’s very successful around the world. In China today, the problem ultimately, culturally, for people that are involved in the arts – whether it’s music or filmmaking – is that if you do anything that is truly radical that is making people uncomfortable, then there are so many points when the system will intervene.”

Watch the video for the full take.

Post by:
Topics: China • South Korea

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soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. zaphed

    take china and shov it where you want.

    October 25, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  2. Lejaune

    That's a stupid question. Why no one else can do Gangnam Style, and I don't mean copying. The fact is there is only one original Gangnam. The same question can be asked why China or anyone else can't do Michael Jackson. Does Zakaria think his home country India can do Gangnam Style?

    October 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  3. Sokos

    Is this a april fool's discussion or is Fareed really judging China's culture with one song.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
    • mastershield


      November 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  4. Sokos

    Just read Fareed's bio. Hes Indian. That explains this trash. lol

    October 25, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Maersk

      And he still used his bare cultural hand to clean his azz before he wrote this piece of bullzhit.

      October 26, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  5. rory

    I have been reading a lot of article written by this author. He makes a lot of money pay by the TIME or US subsides fund to talk rubbish or find some kind of theory to show the world how awkward the Chinese society and culture is today.

    October 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
  6. LIfe loving Happy American

    You cares about Gangnam Style. Omg CNN you guys are getting desperate for headlines. Gangnam Style SUCKS!

    October 25, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  7. Fargo

    Who knew that Gangnam Style was something "truly radical" that made people "uncomfortable"? Surely that explains its success as a viral video. Fareed comes up with a new line of skit every day...well, at least the days he isn't plagiarizing.

    October 26, 2012 at 12:47 am |
  8. Jonathan

    I did not know that Gangnam Style is a testing stone for democracy. Thank you, Fareed, for the profound observation!

    October 26, 2012 at 12:48 am |
  9. Butt's Plugged

    who cares !?!?!?!

    October 26, 2012 at 1:37 am |
  10. dell

    Gangnam Style??? is anyone supposed to know what this means??

    October 26, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • evansusmc

      I am not going to get into the argument of who has "culture" and who doesn't. Who cares?? I prefer human rights over any "culture" any day.

      October 26, 2012 at 4:37 am |
      • mastershield

        i support u bro... human rights is essential and vital. ithe rights and sovereignty or the God given rightst and he culture itself is packaged . speaking of culture whether china, america etc. every country does have..

        November 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  11. Bob

    Come on guys. Gangnam Style did not happen
    in South Korea either when that country was at a similar stage
    of development as China.

    October 26, 2012 at 3:58 am |
  12. chinren

    I watched this expecting some puff piece, but the guy has some valid and well said points. Not sure I 100% agree with absolutely everything he says, but it's well done.

    October 26, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  13. Victor

    Why doesn't India has Gangnam style? Are people so anti-Chinese now that they come to these site to feel better? This is journalism. What is India excuse?

    October 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Maersk

      Maybe all they have is caste system which can't not be too influential in the world.

      October 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  14. Victor

    Do Indian eat with the same hand they wipe their ass? Fareed just lost my respect for this totally idiotic discussion.

    October 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Maersk

      You have to realize that an Indian dickk head like him has to write bullzhit to make a living and at the same time badmouth China. He certainly will not be writing anything about how Indians wipe their azz with bare hand or zhit out in the open. I certainly would not shake hands with an Indian. I just don't want to shake the wrong hand.

      October 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  15. deniz boro

    Wellcome China 🙂

    October 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  16. Abyssinia

    Nobody cares about Gangnam style. I'll tell you something Korea can't do: protect itself with its own military.

    October 30, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  17. Alfred F. Jones

    Opan Gangnam Style! XD
    Any one here Find this ironic?
    I do because I watch Hetalia.
    China is upset and that is why he can't.

    November 2, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  18. s002wjh

    oh also 2008 olympic opening is pretty good too.

    November 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • mastershield

      2012 London Olympics is much better man. cant understand chinese. English i prefer...

      November 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
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    July 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  20. Neva Jeffrie

    Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past few posts are just a little out of track! come on!


    January 11, 2021 at 12:50 am |
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