Squid Game craze hits China

It just isn’t out there in China however Netflix’s world sensation Squid Game has already constructed up an enormous following within the nation, with followers dodging strict web controls to stream the present and snapping up merchandise corresponding to its distinctive outfits.


The dystopian South Korean thriller has grow to be the preferred Netflix sequence launch ever, the streaming big stated Tuesday, however it’s unlikely to cross China’s censors due to its brutally violent content material.

Yet it’s already successful in cities corresponding to Shanghai, the place a crowd shaped Tuesday at an eatery promoting dalgona – the crisp sugar sweet featured in a single episode – with prospects gathering at its Squid Game-themed signal to take images.

READ: Sweet sweet: Taste of ‘Squid Game’ success for South Korean couple


“People were sending jokes related to the show in group chats when I started watching,” a buyer surnamed Li instructed AFP.

“It’s rather fast-paced and therefore, quite thrilling,” the video producer stated of the sequence.

After shopping for the sweet, Li and his pal filmed their try at a problem from the present, the place contestants attempt to reduce shapes from the snack with out cracking it.

Squid Game encompasses a group of society’s most marginalised and indebted people who find themselves pressured to compete in a sequence of kids’s video games till all individuals are lifeless besides one. The “winner” will get $38 million.


As the present turned a global hit, China’s ever-nimble producers raced to faucet into demand, with merchandise – together with the brilliant pink uniforms and eerie masks worn by nameless guards – popping up throughout the large on-line purchasing platform Taobao.

Vendor Peng Xiuyang instructed AFP his gross sales had spiked by round 30% due to demand for Squid Game merchandise.


He had by no means heard of the present when a buyer requested final month if he bought the masks – a plain black full-faced masking printed with squares, triangles, or circles.

But now distributors like him and plastics producers within the japanese hub of Yiwu are all speeding to satisfy demand – from each home and worldwide consumers.

“Our customers are those who have seen the series and want to join in the trend,” he added.

With Halloween arising, the spine-chilling masks have grow to be his most sought-after product.


The lack of official availability has not stopped Chinese audiences from discovering methods to observe the present – together with simply out there unofficial streaming websites or file-sharing.

The piracy downside is so widespread that South Korea’s ambassador to China, Jang Ha-sung, not too long ago instructed a parliamentary audit that he had requested Chinese authorities to take motion.

“Our assessment is that Squid Game, which is gaining global popularity, is being illegally distributed on around 60 sites in China,” Jang stated, testifying remotely from Beijing.


As fascination with the present swirls amongst China’s tech-savvy youth, the hashtag “Squid Game” received practically 2 billion views on social media, and associated matters have been trending for weeks.

Users mentioned how they might cross the challenges featured within the present, and puzzled what a Chinese model of Squid Game could be like.


But one person stated: “It’s not like it would pass censors if we made such a show ourselves… if it were too violent, it would just get taken down.”

For now, followers simply need to have enjoyable.

A buyer in Shanghai surnamed Yang stated: “I’ve seen (the snack) being sold online, but it’s my first time finding it in real life.”

by Beiyi Seow, with Jessica Yang in Shanghai

© Agence France-Presse

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