Wonder Girls release Chinese version of song that “Nobody” wants

If you haven’t heard the news already, JYP Korea’s set to unleash their mascot girl group Wonder Girls onto the Mandopop market this month. In a move to show how “serious” the company is in promoting their Korean-based group to Chinese listeners, WG’s Mandopop version of their previous hit “Nobody” was previewed on Chinese language airwaves recently. The song, which became a hit in South Korea back in 2008, and which also topped the insignificant Billboard’s Hot Singles chart despite no one ever hearing it on American radio in 2009, will re-package their song for yet another global audience in 2010.

The move by JYP Korea to release a Chinese version of a 14-month old song is perplexing, to say the least. Not only has it been played to death in South Korea, but it was heavily promoted in America when it didn’t make a dent where it mattered most: album sales. Additionally, the song’s already been heard by WG’s core Chinese audience numerous times in its original Korean form on the internet, so how much effect a Mandopop version of a song already past its prime remains to be seen. It doesn’t help that the members of WG were even quoted by the media as saying that they’re sick to death of the song, so for the girls to continue singing the song in a different language is not only cruel, but also unusual, punishment.

The latest news is also pointing out that the rest of WG's Chinese material will simply be rehashed Kpop tunes. If this is true, then it only shows that not only JYP Korea isn't serious about the Mandopop market, but also hints that their entry into the Mandopop market was motivated purely on their lack of success in the American pop market.  As Taiwanese artists like Van Ness Wu and Rainie Yang are releasing either original Japanese songs or co-releasing Japanese songs with the Mandarin ones for their Jpop releases, it's hard for WG to justify entering the Mandopop industry without either.  It's a shame, because it's cheating WG's current fanbase in China who are faced with either buying what is pretty much a repackaged product or not supporting them at all.

With WG too busy trying to become relevant in American pop and now in Mandopop, imagine the success they would have had had they stayed in their native Korea.  They would still be ruling the Kpop charts with new Korean songs, while fending off competing girl groups.  But with their long absence, veteran groups like SNSD and rookie groups like Rainbow are making WG's Korean comeback more irrelevant to casual Kpop listeners.  Honestly, WG should have never left Korea.

Radio Preview of WG's "Nobody" (Chinese):

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