Published: Monday April 7, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 7, 2014 MYT 8:43:23 AM

Chinese craze for My Love From The Star

Kick up your heels: This silver Jimmy Choo shoe became a hit with viewers when it was featured on the show.

Kick up your heels: This silver Jimmy Choo shoe became a hit with viewers when it was featured on the show.

South Korean hit TV drama spawns big business in China.

My Love From The Star has concluded with an unexpected happy ending, but the craze for the South Korean television hit continues in China, sweeping sectors from fashion to finance.

In a country of 1.3 billion, the love story between two neighbours in a luxury residential complex – Cheon Song Yi, an actress played by Gianna Jun, and Do Min Joon, an alien professor played by Kim Soo Hyun – has been viewed more than two billion times online on websites including PPS and iQiyi since it debuted in December last year, says Beijing Youth Daily.

The show has become big business in China, inspiring a wave of consumption and advertising, says the report.

On Taobao, the country’s equivalent of eBay, the list of Star-related items – clothing, bags, shoes, watches, glasses and jewellery – grew as Cheon, a clothes horse, changed in and out of designer togs through the show, says the daily.

Besides major labels such as Dior and Gucci, Cheon’s wardrobe also featured the likes of Paul Smith and Didier Dubot, which were not widely known to Chinese consumers months ago.

After she wore silver Jimmy Choo heels in the second episode, Taobao was blanketed in photos of the shoes. A seller of Jimmy Choo shoes said she sold three pairs of silver heels in a day. Last year, she sold three pairs in a year. Lookalikes of the shoe sold faster on the website, 100 pairs in a few days, says the report.

The show has also started a fad for eating fried chicken, which Cheon does, and reading (or owning) books such as Korean fantasy classic The Cloud Dream Of The Nine, which Do does.

But the fans do not just want to spend money like Cheon, they also want to make money like Do.

In the show, the professor has lived on Earth for 400 years and accumulated a fortune in real estate and antiques. Accordingly, one of the most popular posts on the Chinese Internet is an investment guide inspired by the character, says the daily.

Financial companies such as China Merchants Bank have climbed on the Star bandwagon too.

As the show moved towards the will-they-or-won’t-they ending – will Do stay on Earth and continue to protect Cheon? – China Merchants Bank stepped into the shoes of Do in online publicity, promising consumers that it will take over from the professor and watch over them, says the report.

The last episode of the show aired in South Korea, and online in China, recently. In Korea, it was watched by more than 28% of viewers. In China, it was played more than 700,000 times on PPS alone.

According to data released by iQiyi, Star is a phenomenon driven in China by educated women under 35. Viewers aged 35 or younger made up more than 93% of the audience, and women, more than 79% .

Viewers with a bachelor degree or higher accounted for more than 58% of the audience. – The Straits Times, Singapore/Asia News Network

The marathon rerun of My Love From The Star is on ONE HD (Astro Ch 393), at 6.30pm.

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, My Love From The Star, K Drama, Korea, China

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