Although it is not available in China, the Netflix series “The Squid Game” is all the rage in this country where many followers bypass the controls to download it illegally and rush to buy products related to production such as their peculiar costumes.
The dystopian South Korean series has become the most popular launch in the history of the US platform, but it will hardly get the approval of Chinese censors for its violent content.
That has not been inconvenient to get a legion of followers in cities like Shanghai, where a crowd gathers daily in a store that sells ‘dalgona’, a South Korean sweet that appeared in the series.
“People started sending production-related jokes in group conversations when I started watching it,” a client surnamed Li told AFP. “It’s fast-paced and, therefore, quite exciting,” he said.
After buying the candy, Li and his friend filmed themselves emulating a challenge from the series in which the characters had to cut out shapes in the candy without breaking.
“The Squid Game” focuses on a group of outcast and indebted characters who enter a children’s games contest to win 45 millions won (38 millions of dollars, 33 millions of euros). If they are eliminated, they pay with their lives.
The always astute Chinese manufacturers did not miss the opportunity and began to produce costumes and masks of the series that are beginning to flood the digital commerce platforms of the country.
The merchant Peng Xiuyang assured AFP that its sales grew by 30% after putting products of the series on sale.
She did not know anything about her until a client asked her if she sold the black masks worn by the security guards of the deadly contest.
The Chinese audience has managed to avoid the controls on the internet and view the series, especially through easily accessible illegal download pages.
“Our estimate is that ‘The Squid Game’, which is gaining global popularity, is being illegally distributed in some 60 China pages, “said South Korean Ambassador to China Jang Ha-sung at a recent parliamentary hearing.
Proof that the The phenomenon also reached the Asian giant, the label “The Squid Game” has reached almost 2, 000 million views on social networks.
In In these comments, users comment on how they would overcome the challenges posed in the plot and wonder what a Chinese version of the series would be like.
“It would not pass the censorship if we made a production like this … If it were too violent, it would be withdrawn “, said a netizen.