Over the course of the past few decades, China opened up and became a land of economic opportunity not only for South Korean companies but also for individual entrepreneurs. Today, over 70.000 South Koreans reside in Wangjing, a district of Beijing known as the city’s Koreatown. The enclave’s quick development has also attracted numerous Chinese citizens of Korean descent from Northern China who made it their home.
To learn about how Korean Chinese and South Koreans live with each other in Wangjing, we had the honor of meeting with Professor Sharon Yoon. She told us about the history of Korean migration to China, the Korean enclave in Beijing as well as the difficulties Korean Chinese and South Koreans face when interacting with each other.
Sharon Yoon is Assistant Professor at Ewha Womans University. She obtained her Bachelor in Asian Studies and Sociology from Dartmouth College and her PhD in Sociology from Princeton University. Before joining Ewha, Professor Yoon was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and at Osaka University.
With globalization, your ethnic communities are becoming more and more culturally diverse i n the sense that there are different waves of co-ethnics that are living together. Within these kind of complex groups, complex communities, it is much more difficult to create a community than we had. And so, instead of relying on just your ethnic community, a successful transnational entrepreneur needs to be able to find a variety of different sources of resources.
The interview was recorded on April 12th in Seoul.