Squid Game ‘takes China by storm despite censorship for violent content

squid game

Not available in China but it’s Netflix’s global sensation Squid She has already amassed a massive following in the country, with fans circumventing strict internet controls to stream the show and purchase items like her unique outfits.

The dystopian South Korean thriller has become the launch of the most popular Netflix series ever, the streaming giant said Tuesday, but it is unlikely to pass China’s censorship due to its brutally violent content.

It’s already a hit in cities like Shanghai, though, where a crowd gathered at a restaurant selling dalgona, the crunchy fudge featured in one episode, on Tuesday, and customers flocked to its Squid Game-themed sign. to take pictures.

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

“It’s quite fast and therefore quite exciting,” the video producer said of the series.

After buying the candy, Li and his friend filmed their attempt at the show’s challenge, where the contestants try to cut shapes out of the snack without breaking it.

Squid Game features a group of society’s most marginalized and indebted people who are forced to compete in a series of children’s games until all but one participant dies. The “winner” receives $ 38 million.

As the show became an international hit, China’s nimble manufacturers were quick to tap into demand, with products, including the bright pink uniforms and creepy masks worn by anonymous guards, popping up on the giant TV platform. online shopping Taobao.

Salesperson Peng Xiuyang told AFP that his sales had soared by around 30 percent thanks to demand for Squid Game products.

He had never heard of the show when a customer asked him last month if he sold the masks – a plain black full cover printed with squares, triangles or circles.

But now suppliers like him and plastics manufacturers in central eastern Yiwu are rushing to meet demand from both domestic and international buyers.

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

With the arrival of Halloween, spooky masks have become their most sought after product.

Illegal distribution

The lack of official availability hasn’t stopped the Chinese public from finding ways to watch the show, including readily available unofficial streaming or file-sharing sites.

The piracy problem is so widespread that South Korea’s ambassador to China, Jang Ha-sung, recently said in a parliamentary audit that he had asked the Chinese authorities to take action.

“Our assessment is that the Squid Game, which is gaining worldwide popularity, is being illegally distributed at around 60 sites in China,” Jang said, testifying remotely from Beijing.

As fascination for the show swirls among China’s young tech experts, the hashtag Squid garnered nearly two billion views on social media, and related topics have been trending for weeks.

Users discussed how they would overcome the challenges presented in the show and wondered what a Chinese version of Squid Game would look like.

But one user said, “It’s not like censorship would pass if we made such a show ourselves … if it was too violent, it would just be removed.”

For now, fans just want to have fun.

A Shanghai customer surnamed Yang said: “I have seen (the sandwich) sold online, but this is the first time I have found it in real life.”


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