That has not been inconvenient to build a legion of followers in cities like Shanghai, where crowds gather daily at 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.”said a customer surnamed Li. “It’s fast-paced and, therefore, quite exciting”, said.
After buying the candy, Li and his friend filmed themselves emulating a challenge from the series in which the characters must cut out shapes on the candy without breaking it.
The series centers on a group of outcast and indebted characters who enter a children’s game contest to win 45 million won ($ 38 million, € 33 million). If they are eliminated, they pay for it with their lives.
The always astute Chinese manufacturers did not miss the opportunity and launched themselves into producing costumes and masks from the series that are beginning to flood the country’s digital commerce platforms.
Trader Peng Xiuyang said his sales grew 30% after putting products of the series on sale.
She didn’t know anything about her until a customer asked her if she was selling the black masks worn by the security guards at the deadly contest.
Chinese audiences have managed to bypass internet controls and view the series, especially through easily accessible illegal download pages.
“Our estimate is that it is gaining global popularity, it is being illegally distributed on about 60 pages in China,” South Korea’s ambassador to China Jang Ha-sung said at a recent parliamentary hearing.
Proof that the phenomenon also reached the Asian giant, the label “The Squid Game” has reached almost 2 billion views on social networks.
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 look like.
“It would not pass the censorship if we made a production like this … If it was too violent, it would be withdrawn”said a netizen.