Wonder Girls to release Mandopop album; Kpop fans rejoice, Cpop fans “wonder”

English-based Kpop news blogs are currently jumping on a recent statement by a JYP Entertainment representative that Kpop girl group sensation Wonder Girls are releasing a Chinese Mandarin album soon : "Currently, WG have finished recording the Chinese version of their songs. The official Chinese album is scheduled to be released early next year."

The statement unsurprisingly drew excitement amongst English-speaking Kpop netizens at news of fresh music material from the five-member female group. After the girls’ massive success in their home country of South Korea, and following their recent adventures in America, WG’s sights on the Mandopop scene elicited responses that the girl group are on their way to “world domination”.

Contrary to the above opinions though, WG has yet to achieve the popularity status in the United States that they established in their native South Korea, falling way short of topping the highly competitive music charts in the American pop music market. The girls hope that their adventures in China and Taiwan will fare better, as they had a much friendlier reception in Chinese Mandarin-speaking countries.

The move by WG to enter the Mandopop market was to be expected, given the highly untapped market for girl group music in extremely populous mainland China, and the lucrative financial potential of breakout success in Mandopop entertainment-producing Taiwan. The question is whether WG will simply rehash their hit Korean songs (ala Rain/Bi) or produce original Mandarin songs (a la Super Junior-M). What’s definitely known is that Chinese fans might not be as receptive to a Mandarin version of "Nobody" as Korean fans were of the original version back in 2007.

Had WG made their Mandopop debut earlier this year, the girl group may have very well completely monopolized their girl group pop sound. 2010 might prove to be a more competitive year for Mandopop girl groups in general though, as new mainland Chinese groups S.H.Y. (sister group of boy band Hit-5) and controversial group Idol Girls (in South Korea, that is) expect to make a splash, while Singaporean success duo By2 and Taiwan’s international sensational trio S.H.E. are expected or rumored to make their triumphant return later that year. Throw in 2010 comeback albums from veteran solo female artists Rainie Yang and Jolin Tsai into the mix, and you already have a dose of healthy competition by the Mandopop ladies.

Time will tell if WG will be able to replicate their success in China and Taiwan like they have in South Korea, or if they will simply underachieve again like they did in America. English-speaking Kpop netizens seem to have high expectations though, and are greatly excited at the chance to listen to Mandopop songs from the female Korean musical ensemble, despite remaining blatantly oblivious to amazing songs reigning the Taiwanese and Chinese music charts from Mandopop mainstays such as JJ Lin, Elva Hsiao, Rainie Yang, Cyndi Wang, and Genie Cho.

JYP Entertainment is definitely taking a gamble at WG's move to the Mandopop market, as Chinese Mandarin is definitely the weakest of the members' three languages. Furthermore, the move takes them further out of the loop of the Kpop scene as more and more girl groups saturate the market. Obviously, this also delays their comeback Korean album by at least a year.

Can WG be relevant in China and Taiwan while remaining relevant in Korea? As long as they don't suddenly make plans for a Japanese album, then it's not entirely impossible.

Source: allkpop

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