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''''''''You who came from the stars'''''''' hits China 2014-03-11 오전 1:25:00

Despite the Chinese government’s bamboo curtain, a policy of restricting other countries or cultures from stepping into China, a Korean TV drama “You Who Came From the Stars” has spawned a craze all over the country. As a socialist nation, China does not want other countries to have too much influence on it. And among others, the country is often hypersensitive about pop-cultural influences. Especially after the Korean Wave fever, the Chinese government had put a strict regulation on Korean dramas such as by limiting the number of dramas and their broadcasting hours. However, currently in China, about 25 million people including famous socialist politician watched the drama. How could “You Who Came From the Stars” break China’s bamboo curtain?

Popular video websites in China had played a significant role in the rising of this craze. Websites like “Yinyuetai” and “iQiyi” have services that specialize in offering videos from other countries in almost real time. These websites were so big and thriving that they bought the official rights to Korean dramas in 2008. Now, their users can watch Korean dramas in just an hour after the original broadcasts even with subtitles. This made it so easy for Chinese people to approach Korean dramas like “You Who Came From the Stars.”

Given that, however, the success of “You Who Came From the Stars” is exceptional. Dr. Park Seong-hyun of Korean Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) says there are three additional reasons why China is mad about this drama. First, Chinese people enjoys watching a developed country with advanced technology and financial affluence. Also, since Korea and China share some of their cultures like Chinese character culture and Confucian ideas, Chinese find it familiar when things like “Myungshimbogam” (a book which both Chinese and Korean people consider noble) appear in the drama. Finally, the confident self-assertive main female character appealed to many Chinese, including both men and women.

This big craze about the drama has brought some unbelievable phenomena. After the drama was all over, a Chinese TV show offered 50 million won to have the drama’s main character, Kim Soo-hyun, be on the show. When Kim Soo-hyun accepted the offer, they also sent him a private plane and bodyguards to take him to China. Moreover, the taste of the main female character in “Chimaek,” which means chicken and beer, removed issues on Avian Influenza (AI) that had been raising arguments in China. It was because people started to follow the main character and consume massive amounts of chicken and beer.

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